Islamabad: With the losses due to corruption in Pakistan being pegged at a staggering Rs 8,500 billion, a Pakistani daily described it as "plunder" in a country where people still yearn for the most basic needs.
An editorial in the News International Tuesday said: "The level the curse of corruption has reached under the (Yousuf Raza) Gilani government is mind-boggling."
"New records have been set; we wish they had been established in a different sphere, avoiding the kind of damage Pakistan has suffered."
Adil Gilani of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has put the losses on account of corruption at Rs 8,500 billion, accumulated through poor governance, tax evasion and other forms of corruption.
The editorial said that it "does not take much imagination to know what could have been done with this massive amount in a country where people still yearn for the most basic needs, and the economy continues to crumble - a fact depicted in the falling GDP and the soaring inflation".
Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) pointed out that the figure they put out was based both on TIP's own annual corruption perception index and a string of concessions made by senior bureaucrats and government officials and members to wrongdoing.
It went on to say that "clearly, there is still some space left in pockets - and accounts - and no lessons have been learnt. The truth is that the situation can only be described as plunder”.
"Controlling corruption is, then, an ideal we must work toward. No nation can and should live with corruption on this scale. It can only end if we are able to establish a system of accountability," it added.
First Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012, 12:13