ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi has called for collective efforts to make Pakistan a corruption free and economically strong country.
The president, in his message on the International Anti-Corruption Day being observed on Saturday, said the whole nation must stand united and support efforts against corruption to purge the society of the social evil.
“I am hopeful that if we act together, we can make an economically strong and corruption-free Pakistan for our future generations,” he added.
He said,”Pakistan commemorates the Day with the theme ‘Uniting the World Against Corruption’ to highlight the need for collective action to curb corrupt practices in the country.
‘The Day underscores the need to make united efforts by governments, civil society, media, and youth and play their role in eradicating the menace of corruption,” he added.
Corruption, he said,”poses a serious threat to our country’s socio-economic development and good governance hindering efficient service delivery, discouraging investment, and obstructing economic progress.”
Corruption, he added, was also the major reason behind the pilferage of scarce national resources, which could, otherwise, have been used for providing the much-needed education, health and basic infrastructure to the nation.
“It is, therefore, imperative to accelerate efforts to eliminate corruption from the society. Although Pakistan has taken several steps to improve transparency, ensure accountability, and curb corruption, much remains to be done in this regard.”
The president said the government alone could not overcome the challenge, rather it was the shared responsibility of all segments of society to support its efforts to uproot the scourge of corruption.
“For this, we need to identify its root causes, detect corrupt practices, expose corrupt elements, create awareness, and deal with corrupt elements with iron hands,” he added.
President Alvi stressed the need to improve the country’s legal framework to expedite prosecution and bridge loopholes to eliminate corrupt practices, besides increasing parliamentary oversight at the federal and provincial levels to bring greater transparency in governance.
“We also need to strengthen the capacity of our anti-corruption bodies and criminal justice institutions to investigate and effectively deal with corrupt elements,” he said.
“We need a thorough review of our procurement practices and adopt international best practices to avoid pilferage and misuse of public money.”
Highlighting the importance of de-politicising the accountability process, the president said it should be carried out across the board on merit, rather than the laws being used for political purposes.
He also urged every citizen of Pakistan to strongly discourage and resist corrupt practices, in any form they encounter, and report the same to the relevant agencies for proceeding against the corrupt elements.
“This is the responsibility of not only the National Accountability Bureau but also of all citizens to play their role in eliminating corruption,” he added.