Home Latest News Pakistan Improves in Transparency’s Corruption Perception Index

Pakistan Improves in Transparency’s Corruption Perception Index

Country’s score improves two points from 27 to 29, further boosting its rank from 140 to 133 out of 180 states measured

by Staff Report

Transparency International on Tuesday released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index 2023, showing a moderate 2-point boost to the country’s score—from 27 to 29—and a boost to its rank from 140 to 133 out of 180 countries included in the index.

This is the highest overall score for the country since 2021, when it fell from 31 to 28, and indicates an improving public perception of corruption in the country. Pakistan peaked at 33 in the 2018 index, before declining to 32 in 2019 after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power. It then decreased further to 31 in 2020; 28 in 2021; and hit its lowest level since 2012, 27, in 2022, eight months of which were under the control of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government. The PDM remained in power until August 2023, following which a caretaker government was installed.

According to Transparency International, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by its experts and businesspeople, using a scale of zero to 100 where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. A country’s rank, meanwhile, is its position relative to the other countries in the index.

Pakistan is also the only state in its immediate region to post an improvement in the index over the past year. India’s score declined from 40 to 39; Bangladesh from 25 to 24; Afghanistan from 24 to 20; China from 45 to 42; and Iran from 25 to 24.

In a press release accompanying the new index, Transparency noted over two-thirds of countries scored below 50 out of 100, “strongly” indicating they have serious corruption problems. “The global average is stuck at only 43, while the vast majority of countries have made no progress or declined in the last decade,” it said, noting 23 countries had fallen to their lowest-ever scores this year.

Blaming the declining scores on a global trend of weakening justice systems that reduced accountability for public officials, it regretted that both authoritarian and democratic leaders were undermining justice. “This is increasing impunity for corruption, and even encouraging it by eliminating consequences for criminals,” it said, adding corruption such as bribery and abuse of power was also infiltrating many courts and other justice institutions globally. “Where corruption is the norm, vulnerable people have restricted access to justice while the rich and powerful capture whole justice systems, at the expense of the common good,” it warned.

Noting elections were due in Pakistan in 2024, Transparency said it—alongside Sri Lanka—was grappling with debt burdens and ensuing political instability. However, it noted, the country had strong judicial oversight, which is helping keep the government in check. “The Supreme Court of Pakistan strengthened citizens’ right to information by expanding this right under Article 19A of its Constitution to previously restricted institutions,” it added.

According to the CPI rankings, Denmark topped with 90 points, followed by Finland and New Zealand with 87 and 85 points, respectively. Syria, Venezuela and Somalia are at the bottom of the chart with 13, 13, and 11 points, respectively. “Corruption will continue to thrive until justice systems can punish wrongdoing and keep governments in check,” said François Valérian, chair of Transparency International. “When justice is bought or politically interfered with, it is the people that suffer. Leaders should fully invest in and guarantee the independence of institutions that uphold the law and tackle corruption. It is time to end impunity for corruption,” he added.

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