— NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal also addresses audience, says steps taken by anti-corruption watchdog are for people, country
ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Sunday urged all citizens to contribute towards the elimination of corruption and paving the way for economic growth and prosperity of the country.
While addressing a seminar on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day at Aiwan-e-Sadar, which was initially, observed due to the 2003 ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which sought to raise public awareness about financial crimes.
“This day serves as a reminder not only to the people of Pakistan but also to the citizens of all nations around the globe about the harmful effects of corruption,” he explained.
Describing corruption as “a major hindrance against development and prosperity”, the president said that it hurt business and the economy, which “in turn sabotages the prosperity of the nation”.
“Corrupted economies remain unable to function properly because corruption prevents free functioning of the natural laws of the economy. As a result, corruption in a nation’s political and economic operations causes its entire society to suffer,” he added.
Billions of rupees in public funds are lost annually to corruption, directly affecting “the ability of the government to provide even proper basic services to the public”, the president said.
“NAB being the apex anti-corruption agency of Pakistan has been mandated to keep this menace in check as well as to create awareness among the public at large about corruption,” Alvi said, noting that the “sheer scale of this challenge calls for combined efforts to confront it head on”.
He continued to state that although the government is committed to eradicating corruption once and for all, NAB alone cannot win this fight. President Alvi further urged everyone to unite in bringing out the changes in attitude and in contributing to a corruption-free Pakistan to support economic growth in order to bring prosperity.
In addition to that, President Alvi expressed a resolve to strengthen NAB in order to better check corruption and said that it is “an assault on humanity”.
He added that “corruption cases should be taken to their logical conclusion by strengthening prosecution”.
Following that, NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal addressed the audience and warned them of elements in society trying to “spread propaganda” against the anti-graft body.
He further said that he was confident that the people of Pakistan can differentiate between right and wrong themselves.
The NAB chairman said that “the bureaucracy had been worried since he came to power”, but assured that since he had remained a civil servant he knows how to use the resources with “integrity and in the best possible way”.
“The Supreme Court has said this many times, that every bureaucrat will only follow those orders which are in accordance with the law,” he said, adding that “the apex court had in the past always taken action in the event that a bureaucrat was being treated unfairly”.
“People should know that NAB is using its authorities,” Iqbal said.
The NAB chairman also said that those who previously referred to NAB as “dead wood” were now, “willing to accept that it had become a tree with branches and was in bloom,” adding that “whether you do propaganda or not, NAB must continue its work”.
He concluded by noting that every step taken by NAB will be for the citizens and state of Pakistan.