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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Jul 25, 2017

Institutions work, but rulers don’t want them to

overnment institutions in the country do work, but some people at the top do not want them to function properly.
This was stated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Asad Umar while addressing a seminar on ‘Accountability and Transparency: Embodied Access to Information Model’ at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.
“The people sitting at the helm of affairs are the real obstacle to accountability and transparency as well as corruption-free governance,” Umar said.
Referring to the ongoing saga of the Panama leaks and accountability of prime minister’s family, the PTI lawmaker hailed the excellent work done by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court.
He added that the JIT had proved that there were institutions in the country with the capacity to do their work. However, Umar said, some people at the top did not want them to function properly, as he took a veiled swipe at the ruling party.

overnment institutions in the country do work, but some people at the top do not want them to function properly.
This was stated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Asad Umar while addressing a seminar on ‘Accountability and Transparency: Embodied Access to Information Model’ at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.
“The people sitting at the helm of affairs are the real obstacle to accountability and transparency as well as corruption-free governance,” Umar said.
Referring to the ongoing saga of the Panama leaks and accountability of prime minister’s family, the PTI lawmaker hailed the excellent work done by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court.
He added that the JIT had proved that there were institutions in the country with the capacity to do their work. However, Umar said, some people at the top did not want them to function properly, as he took a veiled swipe at the ruling party.
While highlighting the importance of corruption-free governance and available mechanisms to ensure it, Umar said that accountability cannot be established without first ensuring transparency in systems.
“It was for that very reason that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government introduced Right to Information (RTI) Act as its topmost priority,” he added.
“It was only to protect the corruption and cover financial scams that the government was concealing information or making access to information extremely difficult for the common man,” Umar claimed, adding that he had offered to audit all the 342 MNA’s present in the National Assembly, but the ruling party did not allow it.
Abdul Jalil, an expert in financial management, presented the details of various instruments which are available to discourage corruption in governance.
Despite that, he said pointed towards an absence of relevant laws and lack of precedent in the judicial system which posed a challenge to accountability and transparency.
“Our institutions including the Federal Board Revenue and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are handicapped in investigating financial irregularities, whereas a legal framework for an audit was highly deficient,” Jalil said.
He further explained that in the event of financial irregularities, the FIA was dependent on inspectors who were not qualified to investigate such crimes.
Earlier, SDPI’s Shakeel Ahmad explained the various dynamics of the Embodied Access to Information Model (E-AIM) and emphasised on the need to understand the fundamentals of accountability.
He said that access to information, especially relating to roles and responsibilities of individuals and institutions, was key to make them work and function in a responsible and accountable manner.Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1465858/institutions-work-rulers-dont-want/