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PR No. 156 Islamabad: 21th September 2017

Federal Minister For Law & Justice Mr. Zahid Hamid said that the policy of this Government, is “zero tolerance” for corruption, this is clearly stated in the Chapter on “Corruption and Accountability” in the PML(N) Manifesto 2013. He was addressing as a chief guest at the launching ceremony of the Country Review Report in compliance with the implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) organized by  National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan.

 

While addressing Federal Minister For Law & Justice Mr. Zahid Hamid said that Pakistan is one of 182 State Parties which have ratified the UNCAC. In accordance with the Mechanism for Review of Implementation of the Convention, the mandatory peer Country Review has been conducted by experts from Norway and the Solomon Islands. During the Review process, Ministry of Law and Justice, NAB and nine  other stakeholders were also actively involved in the process. He said that the Report highlights the progress made by the Government and NAB to counter corruption and presents a set of recommendations and priorities to enhance the institutional and operational framework and the capacity of the relevant institutions in Pakistan.

 

Federal Minister for Law and Justice said that the Government of Pakistan has carefully noted the contents of the Review Report, particularly the challenges in implementation that have been identified in it.  Pakistan is fully committed to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

 

Zahid Hamid further said that on the  directions of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Government has initiated a number of measures to implement the Party Manifesto.  The “Public Interest Disclosure” (or Whistle-blower Protection) Bill and “Right of Access to Information” Bill have been introduced in Parliament. Transparency in Government has increased dramatically. Procurement laws and rules are being amended to streamline procedures. More importantly, the Government has presented an initial draft of a new National Accountability Commission Bill before the Parliamentary Committee constituted by Speaker, National Assembly in consultation with the Chairman Senate to review the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. Law Minister mentioned that the Law Ministry will make every effort to ensure that the new law provides for even-handed and non-discriminatory accountability and we will also endeavor to ensure that the fundamental principles of fair trial and due process are observed. But the real challenge will be in proper implementation. The entire accountability process must not only be highly credible, completely transparent and manifestly fair, it must be implemented without fear or favor and recognized as such by common people.

 

He emphasized that the fight against corruption cannot be won by simply passing laws, no matter how strict. It requires concerted efforts of the whole society--every segment of society must unite against this evil.  All of us must stand together to eradicate this cancer from our body fabric.

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