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Pakistan faces serious corruption challenges in the coming years

Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector

As diverse sectors of Pakistani society unite to demand restoration of pre 3rd November 2007 Judiciary across the country and has started a long march, Transparency International Pakistan lends its support and voice to the demands for the restoration of pre 3rd November 2007 Judiciary and calls attention to the fact that rampant corruption weakens most pillars of a democratic society.

On 25 June, Transparency International (TI) will release the Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector, which includes 35 country reports. Among them is a report on Pakistan which is documents and analyses the military’s role in land-grabbing, the legal and institutional changes in 2007, the application of public procurement rules and the judicial crises from 2007. The GCR 2008 also expands on the scale of the inroads made by the military into ‘civilian’ sectors of Pakistan’s economy.

“It is not news that Pakistan is drowning in corruption due to absence of rule of law,” said Syed Adil Gilani, the Chairman of TI Pakistan. He reminded the political parties to fulfill the commitment given to the nation in their election manifesto that “ Judiciary shall be fully independent” and that “There will be no discretion in any administrative decision taken by government servants”.

On water corruption the GCR quotes cases involving millions of dollars and the irregular procurement practices they involved. TI Pakistan has dealt with corruption in the water sector before. An Integrity Pact agreement was signed between the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and TI Pakistan, in relation to the awarding of contracts for a major water project in the city. As a result a clean and open bidding process, monitored by TI, took place, savings in the Consultancy Contract for K-III Project entity more than US$ 3.1 million. This dramatic result emerged directly after the introduction of the no-bribes TI Integrity Pact in Pakistan Procurement Rules 2004.

TI Pakistan’s second National Corruption Perceptions Survey from 2006 indicated that the majority of respondents were of the view that corruption in Pakistan had increased by 100 per cent since 2002.

Recently, the Annual Meeting of Transparency International (TI) Asia Pacific chapters, held in the Philippines, called on the Government of Pakistan to reinstate the deposed judges who were unconstitutionally dismissed on 3 November 2007. Promoting judicial integrity is a vital principle contained in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Pakistan is a state party.

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Saad Rashid
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