PPP says Transparency International's corruption report detrimental to national interests

     The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has criticized the recent report by the Transparency International, the global anti-corruption watch-dog, which questioned Pakistan's request from the donor countries for more aid and assistance in spite of the massive corruption prevalent in the country. Interacting with media persons during a press conference here, PPP Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab said the report was targeted at influencing public opinion regarding the Gilani government. "The report was detrimental to our national interests," The Daily Times quoted Wahab, as saying. Earlier, while releasing the report, Transparency International's (TI) Pakistan chief Adeel Gilani said that anti-corruption measures in Pakistan took a "180 degree turn after former President General Pervez Musharraf issued the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in October 2007." "How can one expect from any donor to come forward to assist Pakistan from its current financial crisis, when there exist no law against corruption," the report states. "The NRO has also granted further protection to the parliamentarians, as no sitting Member of Parliament or a provincial assembly can be arrested without taking into consideration the recommendations of the special parliamentary committees on ethics, which are not formed yet," Gilani said. According to the TI report, approximately 15 per cent of the cost of corruption in Pakistan lies in procurement, costing the country's development budget over 150 billion rupees.

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