Showing posts with label Transparency International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transparency International. Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2016

NAB Sindh chief receives National Integrity award

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, has reckoned that five most challenging factors for doing business in Pakistan doing last year were corruption, tax rates, inflation, access to financing and insufficient government bureaucracy from which corruption was cited as the most problematic. 

He made the observation while addressing the presentation of Transparency International Pakistan Integrity Award to Director General, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sindh, Lt. Col. Retd. Siraj ul Naeem, at the Governor House in Karachi. The Provincial Ombudsman, Asad Ashraf Malik, and retired judges of the Sindh High Court were also present on the occasion. 

“It’s an established fact that effective accountability mechanism is essential for economic growth, investment and stability of social sector in any society. It is also a recognized fact that the intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a pre-requisite for promoting investment and economic growth,” he pointed out. 

‘”The contributions made by the NAB to fight such a huge menace and curbing corruption is based on a three pronged strategy of awareness, prevention and enforcement and it has been immensely successful. Since 2014, the NAB has acted with new zeal and has carried out a detailed analysis of organizational weaknesses, procedures and business processes and human resource development also. It is very commendable that NAB has recovered and deposited Rs. 276 billion in national exchequer since its inception,” the Governor recognized. 

He also lauded its work with the youth and establishment of more than 20000 Character Building Societies (CBS) in universities and colleges across the country. 

The Governor described the NAB Sindh as an important regional bureau whose performance for the last year has been graded as outstanding and excellent with 88 % Operational Efficiency Index by Chairman Inspection and Monitoring Team (CI&MT). 

“Its Director General Lt. Col. (R) Siraj ul Naeem has headed these tremendous results which are commended by all concerned quarters. He deserves this award is the true reflection of his dedicated work,” the Sindh Governor complimented. 

Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan declared that the establishment of Citizens Corruption Liaison Committee (CCLC) on the pattern of Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and anti corruption and anti fraud help line would enable citizens to lodge their complaints for early redressal of the same. 

Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International Pakistan informed that this award has been awarded to four global personalities and Col Siraj was only the fifth person to receive the same and the first one from Pakistan. 

On the occasion Governor of Sindh handed over the National Integrity award to Lt. Col (R) Siraj ul Naeem. A memorandum of understanding for establishment of CCLC and anti corruption helpline was also signed by the Principal Secretary, Mohammad Hussain Syed and Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Khawaja Naveed Advocates for strong and free institutions to root out corruption

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Noted lawyer and a former Judge of Sindh High Court Khawaja Naveed Ahmed has called for establishment of strong and free institutions to stop corruption from the society.
“All we need is having strong and free institutions and create an environment which does not allow any one to enter into corrupt practices as is in vogue in the western society”, he asserted while delivering his keynote address at the Harvard Law School Symposium in Boston, USA.

He was invited by the most reputed school to inaugurate the symposium on the topics of transitional corruption, state-sponsored espionage, extra-judicial and target killings.

He said corruption is a world-wide phenomenon and many countries like Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria etc faced or are facing historical downfalls mainly on account of corruption.

He said that years long dictatorial rules in many countries allowed corruption to make deeper and deeper inroads and it was unfortunate that corruption permeated deeply into our society as well.

He recalled that after 1988, in less than 10 years, Pakistan had four elections. It was like musical chair and two main political rivals came in to power one after the other but successive governments were dismissed constitutionally, primarily on the charges of corruption.

Khawaja Naveed said there is a perception that politicians invest heavily in the election process to get elected to the assemblies and to enter into corridors of power. The major reason behind this widespread corruption in my country and in some other countries by the politicians and bureaucracy is that it is difficult to control white collar crimes, therefore, the culprits invariably get away with their corruption and safely come out of scandals without any punishment.

Hardly there was any political eminence to get punishment for his frauds or scandals during the last 64 years, he stated adding that he had no hesitation in saying that if there is a will, it is not difficult to unearth the cases of corruption and the assets held by members of the ruling elite.

He said it was successfully done by Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau during the last decade but unfortunately all corruption cases detected were closed under a law called National Reconciliation Ordinance and which has since been annulled by the Supreme Court.

Naveed said there is no denying that corruption, lawlessness and other social evils exist all over the world. Even our neighboring country India is not free from corruption though they have very strong democratic system in their country and had no Marshal Law or military intervention during the last 64 years of its existence.

Referring to Transnational corruption, he described it a very wide topic and said Transparency International in its 2009 annual report described corruption as a spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an idea. In economy, corruption is payment for services or material which is not a right of the recipient under law. This may be called bribery, kick back, or `Baksheesh’ in the Middle East.

He said Transparency International described political corruption as an abuse by public power, office, or resources by elected government officials for personal gain, e.g. by extortion, soliciting or offering brides
This report, he pointed out, deal in detail with police corruption, systemic corruption or endemic corruption. These corruptions are due to weaknesses of an organization or process. Discretionary powers, monopolistic powers, lack of transparency, low pay, and a culture of impunity are main causes of specific acts of corruption which include bribery, extortion and embezzlement in a system where corruption becomes the rule rather than exception.
On international level, he continued, there are instances of corruption by multinational companies who develop contact with the politicians and bureaucracy of developing countries and procure big orders from their aid money or from their funds by giving kickbacks to the functionaries. This is though not permitted under international law but is still in practice and again is very difficult to detect unless regime is changed in recipient countries.
Regarding extra judicial killings by the law enforcing agencies including police, he said it has become a big problem the world over. One of the reasons for the extrajudicial killings is the incompetence or inability of prosecution agencies in prosecuting the most wanted criminals and getting them punished from the courts of law. The criminals are so powerful that it is difficult for the law enforcing agencies to arrest them and once they are arrested it is very difficult to procure evidence against them to get them convicted from the courts of law.

According to him the witnesses dare not to give evidence against hardened criminals for fear of their own life or family elimination. The desperate and hardened criminals kill the prosecution witnesses either before their appearance before the court or after they leave the court room. This serves as sufficient warning to other witnesses either not to appear in court or give statements hostile to prosecution.
He referred to a report by the Human Rights Council on extra-judicial, summary of arbitrary executions prepared by Philip Alston on 28th May 2010 and said  he has referred to the video footage which was telecast on 10th February 2010 showing police and army officers in Nigeria forcing a number of un-armed men to lie down on the ground before shooting them in the back. One of the officers could be heard asking his colleague to shoot a man in the chest rather than head, so that he can take the victims hat.
In the same report Mr. Alston also referred to an incident of raid by Brazilian police on 27th June 2007 wherein 19 people were killed with gun shots in the back and point blank shots. In another report dated 1st June 2010 he had visited the Democratic Republic of Congo from 5th to 15th October 2009 to investigate allegations of unlawful killings.

His investigations focused on political killings in Kinshasa and Bas Congo. This report is spread over 113 pages and covers extra judicial killings by armed forces, death imprisons, killing of human rights defenders and journalists, vigilantism and mob justice.

Similarly another report was prepared by a Panel of eminent Jurists on terrorism, counter terrorism and human rights questions in respect of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings or executions from 2001 to 2006 in Indonesia, Jakarta. The report covers Bali bombing on October 12, 2002 that killed 202 people and injured more than 209 people.

In Afghanistan and in Pakistan, thousands of people have been killed during the last decade by suicide bombing by the terrorists and counter terrorism by the military and police.

Khawaja said very frequently complaints come regarding missing of persons and some times they are found in Gawantanamo camp. He said these are hard facts of life and he believe that panelists of this symposium  will hold comprehensive discussions on this topic and come out with some positive solutions and suggestions for the world to follow.

Speaking about state sponsored economic Espionage, he said over the past couple of decades there have been a grown number of scholarly reports regarding economic espionage and it has become an international challenge.

He said the theft of a country’s intellectual assets and proprietary information is a cause of concern and a threat to national security of the countries. Appreciating the seriousness of this threat US Congress passed the economic espionage Act 1996.

The Economic Espionage Act (EEA) took a traditional approach to the activity at issue by treating the misappropriation of propriety economic information as theft and criminalizing it. Congress believed that by prosecuting and sanctioning those who unlawfully appropriate proprietary information, others can be deterred from engaging in such conduct. Prosecution and punishment can contribute to preventing economic espionage.

The challenge of protecting intellectual and proprietary assets has been made more difficult by the arrival of the information age and the internet. Information has become a marketable commodity with an inherent value and intrinsic self-worth.

The fact that technological progress has evolved to the point where information is stored on networks, many of which are linked together by the interest, has changed the framework relating to information protection and the legal boundaries that traditionally served to constrain the dissemination of sensitive data to non authorized users.

On the occasion Khawaja Naveed narrated some of his experiences as Judge of the High Court of Sindh and threw light on the judicial system in Pakistan.

He said from his experiences he learnt that if people are trusted and dispensed justice they will love you, will never forget you and will not allow you to be let down. 

“This is my message for today. Get justice for everyone, trust people, and love them. In return, they will give you love beyond your expectation”.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Transparency International CPI 2009, reveals Corruption in Pakistan increased

The 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, - and is a composite index that draws on 13 expert opinion surveys. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption. The vast majority of the 180 countries included in the 2009 index score below five on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption). The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on 13 different expert and business surveys. The 2009 edition scores 180 countries, the same number as the 2008 CPI.

In the DOHA UNCAC Conference held on 9-13 November 2009, the United Nations has put a price tag on political corruption -- estimating that up to $1.6 trillion in public assets move across borders each year through networks such as money laundering or into secret holdings.

“Stemming corruption requires strong oversight by parliaments, a well performing judiciary, independent and properly resourced audit and anti-corruption agencies, vigorous law enforcement, transparency in public budgets, revenue and aid flows, as well as space for independent media and a vibrant civil society,” said Labelle. “The international community must find efficient ways to help war-torn countries to develop and sustain their own institutions.” Highest scorers in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. These scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions. Pakistan 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index Score is 2.4, and out of 180 countries, its ranking as most corrupt country has slipped 5 ranks, from 47 in 2008 to 42 most corrupt country in 2009.The CPI 2009 reveals the effects of corruption in the subcontinent, which is more alarming in Pakistan, as Bangladesh which was the most corrupt country in 2001, 2002 and 2003, has improved its ranking from 38th most corrupt country in 2008, to 42nd most corrupt country in 2009.

Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman TI Pakistan said TI Pakistan is of the view that Terrorism is the direct result of poverty, resulted only and only due to corruption ( defined as “ Misuse of authority fro private gain”), mainly illegal direct/indirect Armed Forces Rules in Pakistan since 1951 to 2007, fully endorsed by corrupt Judiciary. He further said the positive impacts will be visible next year of the few steps of good governance taken during last one year of the restoration of Judiciary by the Prime Minister by an executive order on 16th March 2009 ( after lawyers movement supported by opposition parties, civil society and above all Media), declaration of Judiciary by the Chief Justice to be Zero Tolerance for Corruption and withdrawal of draft NRO Bill from National Assembly ( on strong protest of opposition of parties and civil society). Transparency International Pakistan also congratulates Pakistan Army, which has proved to the world that Pakistan Armed Forces are the best. The elimination of terrorists in Swat in two months by Pak Army is what USA and NATO forces failed to achieve in 8 years in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has made Pakistan a proud nation. Army Chief has also taken up seriously violation of Public Procurement Rules by DHA and Armed purchases, and advised to follow the rules, which is a healthy sign and warning for those who are violators of rules. He said but the government is governing Pakistan without governance and Pakistan has lost credibility all over the World, due to which the country is facing serious economic threats,, poverty, inflation, food & electricity shortages and increase in unemployment, which are direct results of the massive on going corruption. He said that the government must make serious efforts to apply rules and regulation across the board, to achieve the goal of reducing corruption. In the last ten years, the economic growth of Bangladesh, and deterioration in Pakistan economy can also be judged from the currency parity rates of Pakistan, Bangladesh vs Dollar in 1999: 2009 , Taka/Pak Re was 49.65:51.84 and in 2009 it is Taka/Pak Re 70.39:83.46. He said Pakistan need immediate enforcement of good governance and Transparent administration, to counter the acute problems, of billion of rupees corruption scams reported in Pakistan Steel, TDAP, EOBI, PIA, Rental Power Plants, KESC, NIC, NHA, OGDC, PSO, PEPCO, CDA, DP Division, DHAs, Pakistan Steel TCP, NBP, PC, and many other organizations.
Bribery, cartels and other corrupt practices undermine competition and contribute to massive loss of resources for development in all countries, especially the poorest ones. Between 1990 and 2005, more than 283 private international cartels were exposed that cost consumers around the world an estimated US $300 billion in overcharges, as documented in a recent TI report..
In the 2009 CPI, major sources provided data based on expert analysis were African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bertelsmann Foundation, Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Global Insight and the World Bank.

Syed Adil Gilani said Political will of the government to fight Corruption is urgently required and must also be seen by public and donor countries, like, formation of Independent Accountability Commission as required by United Nation Convention against Corruption under HOPO Act 2009, to report only to the Parliament or Judiciary and not to the Ministry of Law ( to avoid Conflict of interest and unbiased accountability), and to include all Public Office Holder belonging to Civil Services, Armed Forces Service, Judicial Services and Elected Representatives. All land scams of Punjab, CDA NWFP, Sindh ( specially like gutter baghicha, unauthorised allotments by Nazims, fraudulent change in land records by revenue officers ) , reported in last one year in Media shall be investigated by a Judicial Tribunal, and all Land records shall be computerized within one year. He said Pakistan also requires immediate action through a surgical operation on review and cancel the appointments and promotions not made on merit, and extension of services or reappointment after retirement, remove from the key public offices those who are facing corruption charges, and implementing the effective non-discriminatory accountability mechanism for those civil/defence departments not complying with the procedures including privatization, transparent implementation of rules by regulatory authorities, SECP, CCP, PPRA, EPA, SBP, OGRA, PEMRA, PTA, PFRA etc in order to restore donors agencies, IFIs and investor's confidence.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seminar on Adoption of Anti Bribery Principles in the Private Sector.

A seminar was held at Hotel Marriott on 15th January, 2009 on ‘Adoption of Anti Bribery Principles in the Private Sector’. This seminar was organized by Transparency International Pakistan and BASF Pakistan(Pvt) Ltd. The Chief Guest of the seminar was Engr. Elahi Bakhsh Soomro, Ex speaker of the National Assembly.

Mr Syed Adil Gilani welcomed the guests at the start of the seminar. He explained the aims and objectives of Transparency International – Pakistan and gave an overview of its activities. He discussed the Bribe Payers Index and the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International. He pointed out the corruption in the Private Sector in the International Arena and the role played by the auditing firms.

He was followed by Mr Qazi Sajid Ali, MD BASF Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. He talked about the MOU signed by their company with TI-Pakistan. He informed after the company had decided to follow anti bribery principles in their practices, they had to undergo great difficulties in their business. However they persevered and now they find it was much easier to follow these principles. BASF requires all its employees to follow high levels of integrity both during their business and personal dealings.

The next speaker was Mr H.N. Akhtar, ex Secretary GOP. He shared his experiences with the participants. He was of the opinion that the term anti corruption should be added to the topic. He advised that auditors should not issue false certificates. He suggested that these principles should also apply to the Public sector. He also informed about the corruption in the donor agencies.

Mr Zubair Tufail, Vice President FPCCI. He said that discretionary powers of government officials. He said that corruption is affecting all aspects of life. It is evident in different forms like favoritism, misuse of power, jobs not provided on merit. He recommended the curtailment of discretionary powers of the government officials, simplification of laws and speedy decision making.
Engr M.A. Jabbar spoke on the speech of the previous president when he came to power. He said that the exact speech could be used today with only an addition of nine years as nothing seemed to have changed in their rule. He said that each successive government gives lip service to eradicating corruption but after they leave there has been no change. He recommend that an independent judicial system, independent and responsible media, transparent oversight bodies, independent anti corruption agencies, well trained law enforcement, an effective civil society were necessary for the curbing of corruption.

Mr Abbas Akberali, CEO Amreli Steel spoke at length about various modes and methods of corruption in vogue. His recommendation included indexation of wages and salary, rationalization of custom duties, curtailment of discretionary powers and accountability.

In the end Engr Elahi Bakhsh Soomro, Ex speaker National Assembly summed up the discussions. He appreciated the relevance of the topic and commended both Transparency International Pakistan and BASF Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for taking the initiative to discuss such an important issue. While he considered it essential for the top leadership to be clean in order to serve as role models for the public at large, he however was of the view that even under the present circumstances a lot can be done by the organizers.

A sub committee was formed under the leadership of Qazi Sajid Ali of BASF with members MA Jabbar, Mr Abbas Akberali and Mr Zubair Tufail to prepare strategies and recommendations enhancing the adoption of anti bribery principles in the private sector.