President Mamnoon Hussain Friday stressed the need for ensuring rule of law in the country to overcome the menace of corruption and for that great purpose the nation must unite to achieve the objective.
The President was speaking at a ceremony, organized on the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day. He said after the creation of Pakistan the national exchequer always remained a trust of the nation despite all political turmoil, but when the culture to bypass the laws grew, corruption also became rampant.
The lesson of this bitter experience, the President said was that if we were serious to overcome corruption then we should resolve to ensure rule of law in the country and for that the nation must unite to achieve the objective.
While reiterating the resolve to eliminate corruption, the President said it was necessary to seriously evaluate the reasons behind that social evil, adding that history showed that lust for money when rooted in the psyche of people and the powerful segments of society, who then flaunt laws and create an enabling environment for it.
The President said it was also necessary to ensure the rule of law because when the powerful in different segments of the society plunder national resources, the economic, political and social rights of the people were usurped. This weakens the commitment of an ordinary and poor person towards his country and can drive him to commit mistakes in desperation.
He said in any society crime originated in such situations which gradually destroyed the whole social system. The holding of this ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr is reflective of the fact that eradication of corruption echoes in the voice of the Pakistani nation and that the Government of Pakistan and its institutions are in unison for impartial, transparent and fair accountability in the country, the President added.
‘I believe that we have ample experience of such challenges. In comparison, the societies which are sensitive about morality and try to meet the future requirements by maintaining moral values in upbringing of their new generations, bad habits in such societies are hard to grow,’ the President said.
This secret was revealed to the world after centuries of experiments and efforts, the President said, adding, ‘We are fortunate that this is the basis of our religious beliefs, and our ancestors were those who never used official resources for their personal work.’
The President said he believed that the temperament of Pakistani society was still the same, but this virtue could be meaningful only if the lawbreaking elements were brought to justice by ensuring rule of law in the country.
Pakistani people are desirous of such a society in which everyone has equal rights and none usurp the rights of others, the President said and added that when a nation reached this level of realization then it was necessary to respect its sentiments by turning it into a positive force in order to save it from despondency.
President Mamnoon said this was the reason; he laid maximum stress on eliminating corruption after assuming his current responsibilities and added that he was glad that during this period, corruption had decreased in national institutions which had also been acknowledged by the international institutions. He said that it was a very encouraging development at the national level, which should be valued.
The President said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) could become a ray of hope in this regard but for this it was important that the tradition to fulfil requirements of justice should be promoted by discouraging the practice of hurling blame and accusations without evidence.
He said it was heartening that during the last few years the tradition to ensure good governance, transparency in economic affairs and accountability had grown in Pakistan, adding that he believed that matters would further improve with the support of people.
This is imperative for stability of the economy, prosperity and availing optimal benefits from grand projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he added.
The President felicitated Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal on assuming the responsibilities of Chairman NAB and hoped that we would succeed in achieving our national objectives under his sagacious and experienced leadership. The President also commended his efforts for establishment of SAARC Anti-Corruption Joint Forum with the cooperation of neighbourly countries and prayed for his success.
The President also gave away commendation certificates to best officers of the NAB and a trophy to NAB Lahore for its best performance. Chairman NAB Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal while speaking on the occasion said that the NAB was determined on a corruption-free Pakistan and the citizens of Pakistan refused to tolerate or accept corruption as a way of life.—APP