After much hoopla on media outlets and angry response from the PTI-led federal government over Transparency International’s corruption perception index, the latter has come forward to set the record straight. TI, which launched its index on January 23, 2020, based on data collected in 2019, showing Pakistan had slipped three spots from last year’s ranking, has clarified that lowering of Pakistan’s rating did ‘not reflect any increase or decrease in corruption as it is within the standard margin of error’.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index published annually by the Transparency International (TI) which ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys”.
TI released the report of this index during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Denmark and New Zealand topped the index as they were perceived to be the most honest countries.
TI-Pakistan on Sunday clarified that the CPI has not declared that in 2019 corruption has increased in Pakistan. The TI report had ranked Pakistan 120 out of 180 countries on the CPI 2019 in its latest report.
According to the statement, the rebuttal was issued as a ‘number of politicians, TV channels and newspapers have misreported the CPI report, and given false figures trying to damage the reputation of Pakistan’. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had termed the report ‘biased’ and ‘planted’. In his rebuttal, TI Pakistan chief said the CPI 2019 did not declare the government of former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf as the most corrupt and the incumbent PTI government as the second most corrupt. Nor, he went on to add, did it term the governments of PML-N and PPP as cleanest and second cleanest respectively. This appears to address concerns of one and all.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2020.