The ruling PTI has rejected a Transparency International report that said corruption has increased in Pakistan in 2019.
The organisation, in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019, has ranked Pakistan 120th out of 180 countries. It shows that Pakistanis perceive that the country has been unable to curb malpractices since the year before.
The government has drawn severe criticism from opposition parties, particularly from the PPP and PML-N that are demanding a critical scrutiny of the ruling party.
Federal government spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan called the report “biased”. She claimed that it shows wrong facts since it was being managed by the “kings of corruption sitting abroad”.
Another PTI leader, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi called the report “contradictory to reality”.
Speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme News Beat on Friday, Abbasi said he cannot accept any report that says the PTI is more corrupt than the PML-N and PPP.
On the other side of the argument were PPP leader Palwasha Khan and PML-N’s Azma Bokhari, who reminded the PTI representative of Imran Khan’s vows before becoming prime minister.
Bokhari said the report was generated at Transparency International’s headquarters in Berlin, which has access to data from five different international agencies.
“The PTI is in denial mode. They have to realise that they’ve gotten off the container and are in power,” Bokhari said.
“As far as the public’s perception of corruption is concerned, the public is just following Imran Khan’s words.”
Bokhari was referring to one of PM Khan’s interviews before he assumed office in 2018, where he claimed that the prices of daily commodities were soaring due to the corruption of the PML-N government. He had said if people are dealing with inflation, it means that the incumbent government is corrupt.
‘Don’t bring up Ayyan Ali’
While taking a jibe at the opposition, Abbasi reminded PPP’s Khan of the number of corruption cases against prominent members of her party.
He then mentioned model Ayyan Ali who was arrested at the Islamabad airport in 2015 for carrying US$506,800 without the permission of the State Bank of Pakistan.
This irritated Khan and sparked a heated argument.
“I won’t keep quiet if you take Ayyan Ali’s name. Don’t forget your manners,” Khan said.
“How can you associate her with the PPP? Who is your Hareem Shah and what’s she doing leading your ministers around?” she asked Abbasi.