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NAB committed for a corruption free Pakistan: Qamar Zaman

ISLAMABAD, 02 JUNE (DNA) – Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday said that NAB are determined and committed to perform the national duty with absolute objectivity, thorough professionalism, unimpeachable integrity, and without any leanings for a corruption free Pakistan.

He made these remarks while addressing at a seminar on “Transparency in National Projects” organized by NAB in collaboration with NHA at NHA Auditorium here.

The Chairman NAB said that corruption is endemic to mankind since the beginning of times. Greed is also a phenomenon prevalent in the Society. If punitive/corrective action is not initiated at the outset, greed obviously flows towards an increase in corruption.

He said that lack of equity and accountability has resulted in corruption becoming a way of life. Over the years, unchecked corruption at various levels and tiers of society has resulted in corrupt flaunting their ill gotten wealth with impunity and also trying, somewhat successfully, to silence those who undertake to enforce the rule of law.

He said that we at NAB are determined and committed to perform our national duty with absolute objectivity, thorough professionalism, unimpeachable integrity, and without any leanings for a corruption free Pakistan.

He said that corruption is not only a vice in its own right but it also triggers a chain reaction and leads to injustice, mistrust and suspicion. It generates a sense of insecurity which makes people go astray because they start losing faith in the ability and capability of the government and society to ensure their fundamental rights.

This is a vicious circle of anxiety, insecurity, hopelessness and desperation. In corrupt societies, everyone “condemns” bribery, but everyone gives and takes bribes, because not only nothing is getting done without that, but also because nothing is being done about it.

He said that good governance ensures getting maximum benefits for the minimum cost in terms of efficiency, productivity and quality of life. But all efforts towards development and good governance are rendered meaningless if the malaise of corruption is not checked timely.

He said that corruption in government spending has a negative impact on development programs and results in perpetual increase in cost of creation and maintenance of public assets. The particular deadliness of the disease lies in its self-perpetuation.

Any corrupt act or practice sets in motion a vicious cycle in which one act of corruption becomes the source of further acts of corruption. Good governance means authorities becoming responsive and utilizing public funds prudently to ensure optimum return for every Rupee spent from national exchequer.

This is self Accountability. For this to happen, it is incumbent to ensure that the values of inclusiveness, rule of law, transparency and Accountability are imbibed into the very thought process and psyche of the society as a whole. Thus there is an intrinsic relation between Good Governance and Accountability. Accountability can be in very various forms & shapes.

It may be financial Accountability through the offices of the Auditor General. Legislative Accountability through the Parliamentary Bodies set up by the Parliament. Accountability efforts dealing with checking acts of corruption & misuse of Authority are the mandate of NAB. These various forms of Accountability would ensure strict rule based implementation of policies and priorities. Thus everyone is held responsible for his deeds and acts when viewed through the prism of Accountability.

He said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established to fight and eradicate corruption in a holistic and integrated manner. NAB is essentially a complaint driven organization. An effective accountability mechanism is quintessential for economic growth, investment and stability of social order.

The intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a prerequisite for promoting investment and economic growth. Since its inception, NAB has adopted the Enforcement based approach in its fight against corruption. But I must say that corruption is too complex a phenomenon to be controlled with the Enforcement Strategy alone. Controlling corruption on a sustainable and long term basis requires a broader vision and multi faceted strategy, which banks heavily on Awareness and Prevention of corruption in addition to the Enforcement approach. Special focus is, therefore, being given to Awareness and Prevention activities to educate the people at large about ill effects of corruption.

He said that NAB’s Awareness campaign aims to educate the masses regarding various dimensions of corruption including its causes, social and economic ramifications. Under this campaign, NAB is endeavoring at transforming the societal attitude from indifference to zero-tolerance for corruption, building an anti-corruption coalition, and putting various aspects and dimensions of the menace of corruption to the limelight by raising awareness. Stakeholders are made aware about the issue of corruption, by highlighting its causes and detrimental, if not destructive, impact on society.

Keeping this in view, NAB has taken a lead in establishing a path way for effectively combating corruption in the system. Under Awareness regime more than twenty thousand Character Building Societies (CBS) have been established in Universities and Colleges all over the country for sensitizing the future leaders of our country against corruption.

In order to implement the anti-corruption drive, NAB, under its awareness campaign is making significant efforts to reach out to the masses through the print and electronic media by holding various activities, which such as; Issuance of Postal Stamp of NAB; Printing of logo “Say No to Corruption” on Driving License in Islamabad, KPK Province and Baluchistan Provinces; Printing of logo “Say No to Corruption” on Electricity, Sui Gas, and Telephone Bills through concerned departments; Printing of logo “Say NO to Corruption” on Pakistan Railways Tickets; Flashing of anti-corruption message on different TV Channels through PEMRA; Flashing of “Say NO to Corruption” message on Cinema screens all over the country after National Anthem; Holding various Seminars and walks in Educational institutions for creating awareness amongst youth; Printing of message “Say NO to Corruption” on Daily Newspapers; Printing the NAB message “Say NO to Corruption” on tender advertisements published by procuring agencies in print media; Flashing the message “Say NO to Corruption” on ATMs screens of banks all over the country. It is in this respect, NHA has also join hands with NAB to spread the anti-corruption slogan.

He said that in the Anti-Corruption efforts, Prevention regime is another important way forward to combat corruption and misuse of authority at an early stage before it happens. We have constituted Prevention Committees under the purview of section 33C of NAO, both at Federal level and Provincial levels in order to study the current laws and regulations and to suggest rules and regulations to curb the menace of corruption in government institutions.

Recommendations of two Prevention Committees i.e. Hajj affairs Tax evasion, Revenue Administration and Public Health, Irrigation & Food Departments and five sub-committees on Health have been finalized and sent across for implementation.

He said that it is encouraging for NAB that for the first time Anti-Corruption has been made a part of development agenda in Pakistan in the context of Governance. The Planning Commission of Pakistan has included a chapter devoted to issues of corruption in the 11th five year plan and we intend to work closely with Planning Commission to achieve the goals set in the 11th five years plan.

He said that I believe that the most harmful consequences of this endemic corruption in a society are the culture of acceptance, the culture of resignation and the culture of apathy. Any serious effort to combat corruption must start with this realization that it is our collective social responsibility; that it would result in common good and that we all are together in this war and we will rise and fall together.

The Chairman NAB said that a corruption free Pakistan will remain a dream unless we the citizens of Pakistan refuse to tolerate or accept corruption as a fact of life. It will remain an elusive ideal unless we generate a strong political will to wipe out corruption and raise honest public representatives who can carry out this gigantic task without any fear of the high and mighty and without any favor to the moneyed and the well connected.

I take this opportunity to call upon every single member of society to make an effort by setting our personal, professional and official conduct above any type of influence and prejudice. He said that I call upon intelligentsia, the academia and media to sensitize the people about the ill effects of corruption in the society and let’s demonstrate zero tolerance towards corruption; let us say a firm, rather a thumping, ‘Say No’ to Corruption. DNA

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