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Mian Nawaz Sharif

COMBATING CORRUPTION FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

Transparency International’s (TI) 2017 report ‘People and Corruption: Asia Pacific” voices concerns across the globe about growing inequality, poverty and exclusion of the most vulnerable. As a diverse and rapidly developing region, “it is essential that the countries in the Asia-Pacific region achieve sustainable and equitable development – this can only be done by ensuring that public decision-making promotes the common good. Corruption undermines this, as it distorts democratic processes and promotes private over public interests”. Ranked among the highly corrupt countries in TI’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for a straight 22 years (1995-2016), corruption in Pakistan derails governance by being deeply entrenched in almost all State organs and in public institutions. Effective anti-corruption has failed to be implemented because the role of the State’s anti-corruption bodies is wanting and questionable.!–more–>

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The State of Limbo

Yusuf Raza Gilani’s imprisonment on a contempt of court charge lasted a little over 30 seconds, the conviction was enough to set off a legal and political firestorm. Gilani’s defiance is pure political bluster, he will be history sooner rather than later. With his legal status as PM in limbo, Pakistan also remains in a state in limbo. Clearly not comfortable or his usual confident self, Aitzaz Ahsan is going through the motions expected of him as Gilani’s defence counsel. Grappling with one’s conscience as opposed to the responsibility towards one’s client is always a lawyer’s dilemma. Once a client’s brief is accepted, notwithstanding any reservations about duty towards a client being in conflict with moral convictions, the counsel must staunchly plead the case of the client, or at least make a credible pretense of doing so.

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