ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday said corruption leads to creating sense of deprivation and can be eliminated with concerted efforts by all segments of society.
While addressing an event to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad, the President said governments alone could not eliminate corruption and the society had a vital role to play in this regard.
President Mamnoon stressed taking strict action against corrupt elements in the country and asked National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to make those involved a lesson for others.
He said institutions needed to be made free of corruption to improve their performance.
He said fight against corruption should be done fearlessly considering it a sacred obligation to rid the society of ills as Muslims have been told to act righteously.
He said following the useful social traditions such as living within one’s means and raising next generations on principles of honesty can end corrupt practices.
The President mentioned a general perception of holding only governments responsible for corruption and said instead, every person had an individual responsibility to take steps for the good of society, which ultimately benefits the State.
He said Pakistani society was getting sensitive about corruption and expressed confidence that this seminar titled ‘Say No to Corruption’ for economic growth and prosperous Pakistan’ would contribute towards raising awareness in the society.
The President launched a colour book for children to raise awareness on corruption and also gave away certificates to the officials on their good performance against corruption.
Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid in his speech said the government was determined to take strict measures against corruption.
He said Pakistan ratified UN Convention on anti-corruption in 2007 and added that corruption was now recognized as one of the biggest challenges that were hindering prosperity by reducing direct investment and encouraging waste of resources.
He said corruption could not be eliminated by mere passing laws but required collective efforts by all segments of society.
He said NAB’s campaign ‘Say No to Corruption’ was in consonance with the policy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif having zero tolerance for corruption.
Governor State Bank Ashraf Wathra said corruption brings a halt to the development of a society.
He said banks had taken steps for checking illegal transaction of money and added that a Financial Monitoring Unit had also been set up for this purpose.
Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said there was a significant reduction in corruption in last three years and thousands of cases dealt by NAB since 2013 could be seen at its website.
He said with some improvement in the ranking of corruption, Pakistan was now placed at 117th position in the list of 175 countries as compared to the 139th in 2012.