Countries get bankrupted by corrupt heads: PM

Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said countries get bankrupted and indebted when the head of state or government and the ministers are corrupt, not due to bribery by low-grade officials.

In a statement on Twitter, he said: “When low level officials take bribes, it creates problems for the citizens as speed money is like a tax on them but countries get bankrupted and indebted when the head of state/govt and his ministers are corrupt”.

He also shared a link to a ‘Memorandum on Establishing the Fight Against Corruption as a Core United States National Security Interest’ recently issued by US President Joe Biden, directing his senior officials to conduct an interagency review process and develop a presidential strategy to improve the ability of executive departments to promote good governance, combat all forms of illicit finance, hold accountable corrupt elements, and their facilitators, and bolster capacity of domestic and international institutions to prevent corruption.

The beginning paragraph of the memorandum says: “Corruption corrodes public trust; hobbles effective governance; distorts markets and equitable access to services; undercuts development efforts; contributes to national fragility, extremism, and migration; and provides authoritarian leaders a means to undermine democracies worldwide.”

“When leaders steal from their nations’ citizens or oligarchs flout the rule of law, economic growth slows, inequality widens, and trust in government plummets.”

The fight against corruption in Pakistan has remained the cornerstone of PM Imran Khan’s government since he came into power.

This is pertinent to mention that Pakistan seems to have slipped further in 2020, instead of improving in global corruption rankings.

According to a January report, corruption in Pakistan is perceived to have increased compared to 2019, with the country ranking 124 out of 180 countries on a global corruption perceptions list prepared by Transparency International (TI), an international non-governmental organization based in Berlin.

Pakistan lost four places in 2020 compared to 2019 and seven positions compared to 2018. In 2019, Pakistan ranked 120th on the global corruption list and 117th in 2018.

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