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Media Contacts: Karachi Kafil Ahmad Tel: 021-35390408-9 Fax: 021-35390410 Email: Website:

5 C, 2 Floor, Khy-e-Ittehad, Phase VII, DHA, Karachi Saturday 9th February, 2013.

Transparency International Pakistan nd

Transparency International Pakistan organizes a seminar on Corruption in the Public Sector

Transparency International-Pakistan in collaboration with National Accountability Bureau arranged a seminar on Corruption in the Public Sector. The seminar began with an opening address by the Chairman, Mr. Sohail Muzaffar on major issues regarding corruption and its effect on the governance of the country. He recommended the application of Rule of Law across the Board without discrimination. The Chairman also highlighted the instrumental role being played by TI Pakistan in the monitoring of public procurement activities to eliminate any incidence of corruption. He commended the role of NABs preventive regime and also requested the Minister of Law and Justice Senator Farooq Naek for the imperative need to have laws in place to punish those involved in corrupt practices. He added that simply reclaiming funds and property obtained illegally is insufficient unless corruption related crimes are strictly punished to set an example and culprits not set free through plea bargains. Admiral (R) Fasih Bokhari, Chairman NAB, spoke on the vision of NAB in the light of the National Anti Corruption Strategy and National Accountability Ordinance. He stressed the need for an independent and responsive judiciary, to strengthen the deteriorating regulatory institutions handling public funds and the having honest politicians who utilize and spend public funds in a transparent manner. He stressed the importance of incorporating morality in the civil society in the fight against corruption. In line with this vision, NAB has initiated a project of morality based education to be incorporated in school syllabi, to invoke morality and ethics in the grass roots of Pakistans society. He praised the efforts undertaken by TI Pakistan and its collaboration with NAB. Admiral Fasih Bukhari stressed that NAB will not be used as a political tool, rather the true role of NAB is to create awareness against corruption leading to its prevention, and enforcement of anti - corruption laws by flawless forensic evidence gathering and thorough investigative work so that corruption related cases filed in courts lead to successful prosecution. He said that NAB under the preventive regime has saved over Rs 1.5 trillion. He gave details of NABs program for the future. The second speaker was Brig(R) Mussadiq Abbasi, DG Awareness & Prevention, NAB, who discussed the factors leading to corruption, the need for awareness and implementation of prevention mechanisms for corruption. The deteriorating ranking of Pakistan in indices measuring Establishment of Rule of Law, Incidence of Corruption in Institutions, and Transparency in Governance among other factors has increased the need for NAB to have an Awareness and Prevention Framework that has recently been approved and implemented for the first time. Syed Adil Gilani, Advisor, TI Pakistan expressed the need for the access to information and a free press to curb corruption. He said that civil societys role as a watchdog should be accepted by the Government and they should be given space for their activities. He informed the participants about the achievements of TI Pakistan, especially TI Pakistans role in highlighting the illegalities involved in the Rental Power Projects. He requested the Federal Minister of Law & Justice to look into the approval of FBRs Tax Amnesty Scheme by the National Assembly since the scheme is against the interests of the honest tax payers and afford amnesty to tax defaulters. There was a questions and answers session that followed. The participants posed a number of questions that were answered by the panellist. The concluding session was addressed by the Federal Minister of Law & Justice, Mr Farooq H. Naek. He explained the steps taken by the Government in its effort to curb corruption. He said that the Government has allowed the civil society to carry out their activities and that the press was never as free as it is in this Government. He spoke of the Governments forming of a high level committee to look into measures that could be adopted to reduce corruption and promote public accountability. He commended the efforts taken by TI Pakistan and the current NAB administration in ensuring transparency and eliminating corruption.