Transparency International on Thursday released its annual Corruption Perception Index for 2019, with Pakistan’s ranking dropping to 120 out of 180 countries with a slightly worse score of 32 out of 100.
Last year, Pakistan’s ranking stood at 117—the same as in 2017—although it’s score had slightly increased to 33. This year’s reversal raises questions about the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s claims of making accountability and eradication of corruption a central plank of its governance. Sohail Muzaffar, Chairman of Transparency International Pakistan, sought to clarify Pakistan’s worsening situation in a press release issued alongside the report.
“The Transparency International Secretariat explained that in CPI 2019 many countries have not performed well this year,” he said, implying that Pakistan being perceived as more corrupt was in line with worsening views of public sector organizations globally. Muzaffar also applauded the National Accountability Bureau’s “rejuvenation” but did not clarify how that squared with the anti-graft watchdog being perceived as a tool for political victimization—or criticism from the higher judiciary that NAB’s faulty prosecutions were damaging the body’s own image.
Transparency’s CPI scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business owners. All states are scored from 0 to 100, with 100 being “very clean” and 0 being “highly corrupt.”
PTI led government which claims to be more accountable and less corrupted, has turned out to be more corrupted than the last government, as suggested by the the Transparency Index. Question arises, when will Pakistan be corruption free? The answer is not any time soon.