Lahore : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in his message on International Anti-Corruption Day has said that world is observing Anti-corruption today and this should indeed be a universal code of honour, as corruption is anathema to the progress and development of any country, or people. That is why, his government remains committed to complete eradication of corruption, he added. He said that his policy towards corruption can be described in two words: Zero Tolerance!” and added that our governance record is a testament to this commitment.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab government has undertaken mega projects running into hundreds of billions of rupees and by the grace of Allah, not a single case of high level corruption has surfaced against his administration. It is not by chance but by design that even the so-called largest functioning democracy called India is 12 points higher on corruption index than Pakistan, he added.
He said that according to Transparency International also, Pakistan improved by three points on ranking against corruption, the only country in South Asia to do so. He said it wasn’t like this till the PML-N government came into office.
Shahbaz Sharif said that PML-N government is committed to one unwavering mission of honest delivery to its people in a transparent and honest manner. It is equally dangerous to limit corruption to illegal and un-ethical financial gains alone, because intellectual dishonesty and violation of merit is no lesser a crime, he added. He said that once again, Punjab is being rated by all think tanks and different relevant organizations and agencies as being the best performing province on all these counts. Home to almost half of Pakistan’s total population and being its dominant financial powerhouse, the onus becomes even greater for Punjab to lead the war on corruption from the front, and we have indeed risen to the challenge, he added.
Shahbaz Sharif said admittedly, there is still a long way to go and many more battles to win, but determined we are and prevail we shall. He said that for losing this war against corruption is simply not an option. From fueling social inequalities, to funding extremist views and mafias, corruption is unquestionably the biggest threat that faces Pakistan, as any other country of the world, he added. But it is a battle that we are winning and is a war in which we shall be victorious, he added.
The Chief Minister said corruption mafias always enjoy strength of numbers and at times appear daunting, but he wants to tell his countrymen that we must not worry about the content as long we have the right context. He said that corruption serves a few individuals but kills entire societies and that’s why we cannot look the other way or shrug our shoulders in resignation or despair.
Reiterating his resolve to cleanse the state and government machinery of corruption and deliver honest government to the people Shahbaz Sharif said that ultimately he was answerable to court of the people and Allah Almighty and knew that even if the people forgave him for the lapses, Allah would not forgive him for failing his people. “Honest governance is not a boast, but an obligation”, he added.