Pakistan’s corruption score worst in a decade: report

Retaining last year’s CPI ranking, Pakistan remains 140th out of 180 countries


Pakistan was included amongst the list of ten countries that have “significantly declined” in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2022, hitting the lowest score since 2012, revealed a report by Transparency International (TI).

The CPI is an index published annually by TI that ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.”

In 2018, Pakistan ranked 117 out of 180 on the CPI, but over the years, it has slipped to reach 140 in 2021.

This year, while Pakistan’s rank remained the same as last year, its CPI score slipped to 27, deteriorating from the previous year’s score of 28 and placing Pakistan amongst the list of ten countries that significantly declined in the CPI scores.

On the matter of Pakistan in particular, the report stated that while the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had “promised to tackle rampant corruption and promote social and economic reforms, little has been accomplished on any of these fronts since they took the reins in 2018”.

“It is most important that the new government does not allow such political scandals to derail comprehensive anti-corruption efforts,” stated Transparency International, stressing that the time was ripe for “concrete action with a holistic and effective anti-corruption plan that addresses illicit financial flows and introduces safeguards for civic space”.

The significant decliners with their respective CPIs according to the report are Luxembourg (77), Canada (74), the United Kingdom (73), Austria (71), Malaysia (47), Mongolia (33), Pakistan (27), Honduras (23), Nicaragua (19) and Haiti (17).

India and Bangladesh also retained their spots, ranking at 85 and 147, respectively.

The report shows that most of the world continues to fail to fight corruption with a staggering 95 percent of the countries making little to no progress since 2017.

TI also stated that in light of the Global Peace Index (GPI) report, “the world continues to become less peaceful”.

“There is a clear connection between this violence and corruption, with countries that score lowest in this index also scoring very low on the CPI”, the statement added, “governments hampered by corruption lack the capacity to protect the people, while public discontent is more likely to turn into violence.”

Denmark tops the index this year with a CPI of 90, with Finland and New Zealand following closely, both at 87. Strong democratic institutions and regard for human rights also make these countries some of the most peaceful in the world according to the GPI.

Countries embroiled in protracted conflict remain at the bottom of the CPI. These include Somalia with a CPI of 12 as well as South Sudan and Syria scoring 13 each.

‘Corruption, conflict and security’

The report’s findings reveal a significant correlation between corruption, conflict and security.

“The misuse, embezzlement or theft of public funds can deprive the very institutions in charge of protecting citizens, enforcing the rule of law and guarding the peace of the resources they need to fulfill that mandate,” the TI explained in a statement.

“Criminal and terrorist groups are often aided by the complicity of corrupt public officials, law enforcement authorities, judges and politicians, which allows them to thrive and operate with impunity,” it added.

Making matters worse, the report states that “corruption, exclusion and outright discrimination increase the risk of outbreaks of violence and make them harder to control once they erupt”.

Furthermore, the analysis shows that corruption has a direct negative impact on a state’s capacity to protect its citizens.

“The misuse or theft of public funds can deprive institutions responsible for ensuring the security of the resources they need”, the report stated adding that “weak law enforcement and defence institutions make it harder for a state to secure control of its territory and prevent violent threats, including terrorism”.

This paints a particularly bleak picture for Pakistan as the country struggles to grapple with the deteriorating security situation.

After remaining dormant for nearly five years, the largest militant network in Pakistan, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), commonly known as Pakistani Taliban, has made a strong comeback in terms of attacks carried out in Pakistan.

With a dwindling economy, the government remains under pressure to turn the country’s fate around.