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‘Pakistan losing $133 million daily to corruption’

‘Pakistan losing $133 million daily to corruption’

KARACHI: The head of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sindh, rejected on Thursday media reports about inquiries being pending against Karachi University (KU).

Speaking at a programme on awareness and prevention against corruption held on the KU campus, he said: “No inquiry is going on or pending against the KU and media reports in this regard are not true,” NAB’s Sindh DG retired colonel Siraj-ul-Naeem said when asked to comment on reports published in a section of the press early this year suggesting that the bureau was seeking verification of complaints of alleged misuse of authority by the KU vice chancellor.

Replying to another question, he said NAB was free from all kinds of pressure and didn’t compromise on merit. “Our recruitment criterion is very tough and is based on merit while our officers receive training by foreign investigative agencies on a regular basis.”

Highlighting the role of NAB, set up under the National Accountability Ordinance of 1999, he said the bureau had helped recover 24,000 acres illegally allotted in Sindh.

“The agency got the allotment cancelled and the land was returned to the provincial government. It also got allotment of 300,000 acres in 56 villages of Thatta district cancelled,” he told the audience.

Citing a report of the World Economic Forum, he said corruption was a global phenomenon and around $2.6 trillion was annually wasted in corruption across the world.

With 59 anti-corruption and accountability related laws, Pakistan, he said, was rated 117th on the list of the most corrupt countries.

“Corruption is a greater threat to the business sector. Pakistan bears a loss of $133 million daily due to corruption,” he said, adding that less than one per cent of Pakistani citizens were taxpayers.

KU vice chancellor Prof Mohammad Qaiser said the eradication of corruption was important for the country’s progress and stability. Students needed to be aware of this issue as they would be holding key governmental positions and deciding the fate of the country in years to come.

Dean of management and administrative sciences faculty Prof Khalid Iraqi said political patronage and administrative incompetence led to corruption.

“We must provide greater opportunities to our youth to fight this menace. Responsibility and accountability go together and accountability process must be done across the board,” he said.

Earlier, KU registrar Dr Moazzam Ali Khan welcomed the guests and said the university ensured transparency in appointments and was striving to provide the best learning environment to students.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2016

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