The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has attempted to downplay the most recent Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rankings from Transparency International (TI), released today, despite comments from Imran Khan before his premiership bashing previous administrations for their low TI rankings.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said today that Pakistan’s score did not pertain to financial corruption, but could be attributed to factors regarding rule of law and state capture.
Prior statements from Imran Khan have resurfaced, showing the prime minister extolling TI for their unbiased rankings. Throughout his campaigning, Imran Khan referred to TI to highlight the rampant corruption and inflation in Pakistan, which he emphasized were hurting the common man, as a pillar of his campaign.
In a clip from 2004, the prime minister can be seen saying that TI declared that corruption in Pakistan had increased by 20 per cent in just one year.
Six years later, a video from 2010 shows Imran Khan saying that on a trip to Canada, he was told that foreign funding in Pakistan does not reach the most needy people because of corruption.
That same year, Imran Khan referred to the ‘big criminals in the government who had broken all records of graft.’ He said that, according to TI, the only area in which Pakistan was succeeding was corruption.
‘The common man pays the price for corruption in the form of inflation,’ Imran Khan can be heard saying.
Then in 2014, while at an apparent political rally, Imran Khan again explains that TI found that corruption and tax evasion had cost Pakistan Rs. 850 billion in just four years, telling the crowd that they were the ones paying for corruption ‘in the form of inflation.’
The statements highlight the incumbent administration’s present difficulty in uprooting corruption from the government. This week, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar was reportedly ousted because of his inability to bring any former government officials to task for alleged corruption.