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Dr Ishrat Hussain

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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SIRAJUDDIN AZIZ, BANKER EXTRAORDINARY

Sirajuddin Aziz’s well-researched articles on “Management” have been compiled together in a must read book “Emerging Dynamics of Management” for bankers and non-bankers alike will be launched in Karachi on Sep 8, 2017. An honest, forthright, soft spoken and very seasoned banker Sirajuddin Aziz has an excellent understanding and grasp over his subject matter. Those with extensive experience in “hands on” management are seldom effective in translating that into written knowledge as well as Siraj has done. Having the rare gift of being an effective communicator. One was fortunate to be a colleague on the board of a major bank of this honest and thoroughly professional corporate giant for over a dozen years.

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The Pussycat ain’t Purring Yet

Despite Pakistan’s economic travails and the battering it has taken with respect to fudging of statistics, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) survives in international financial perceptions as a credible institution, this reputation derived from being blessed with good leaders. While disagreeing with Dr Yaqub on some issues, among them the freezing of foreign currency accounts which made his inclusion in the military regime’s initial National Security Council incongruous, he ran a very taut ship in deteriorating economic circumstances, balancing the economy on a fail-safe line between the penchant of two successive political governments alternating in taking us down the slippery road to economic apocalypse by contradictory self-serving economic policies. Instead of abandoning ship under fire, Dr Yaqub remained on the burning deck to try and limit damage to the economic fabric of the nation, together with the then Finance Ministers holding off IMF-savaging of our poverty-stricken masses, during this period almost the whole of the lower middle class, mostly salaried persons, slid below the poverty line. Inheriting an exceptionally horrific economic situation but Dr Ishrat Hussain’s no-nonsense performance-oriented abilities have been complemented by the singular authority of a military regime, the perfect recipe prescribed for economic recovery, provided sound policies are conceived and implemented by those who are supposed to do so.

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