Published Date: Mar 21, 2013
Democracy equals accountability
is all about accountability and by strengthening anti-corruption structures
democracy can be further strengthened in Pakistan, a policy symposium organised
by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) observed on Wednesday.
The policy symposium on “Anti Corruption Strategy: A Civil Society Perspective”
was held to discuss the socio-economic, political and developmental cost of
corruption and the emerging policy options to overcome it.
(R) Shafqat Kakakhel, a member of the board of governors of SDPI initiated the
proceedings by presenting welcome remarks and said that the country was going
to polls in the next few months so there was a need to bring accountability in
the agendas of political parties”.
also announced the formal launch of a comprehensive anti-corruption programme
by SDPI to rid Pakistan of this menace “which had robbed the people and
deprived them of benefits of freedom, justice and prosperity for so many
Speaking at the occasion, former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Shams-ul-Mulk said that the governments in Pakistan were never the ‘true
representatives’ of the people and were not interested in introducing
accountability mechanisms. Professor Robert Klitgaard of Claremount University
California was of the view that Pakistan was a country full of potential where
weak governance and lack of accountability was hampering development.
Kamal Shah, former interior secretary, spoke of addressing gaps in the
anti-corruption framework by breaking the nexus between state departments and
the influential who colluded for their private gains at the expense of public
Dr Kaiser Bengali, a renowned economist and former advisor to CM Sindh pointed
out the gross inequalities in the society which was a major factor in adding to
the prevalent corruption in Pakistan.
Sherani, former economic advisor of the Ministry of Finance, proposed systemic
disclosure of government information which he said was extremely important for
governments to show their commitment to transparency, rule of law and
(R) Musaddiq Abbasi said corruption in Pakistan was system centric and there
was a need to build public ownership of public money. Briefing on micro-level
accountability, he suggested introducing prevention regimes focused on public
education, information and the ability to understand, monitor and engage public
sector activities to ensure greater accountability and service delivery.
also suggested greater autonomy and constitutional protection for accountability
Executive Director Karamat Ali discussed anti-labour and anti-people practices
of businesses and gross violations of state laws. He referred to Baldia factory
fire incident in which 250 workers were burnt alive, which he said was
operating despite brazen violation of all state rules.
was a classic example of crony capitalism and its collusion with state
institutions,” he added. He suggested people to organise themselves to counter