Over 60 per cent Pakistanis believe that a certain level of corruption prevails in the government departments, a new study has said, amid a war of words between the opposition and the government over allegations of graft against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers Leak.
A non-governmental organisation, Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), in February interviewed 6,030 people randomly selected from 603 locations in the country. The survey found that as many as 64 per cent of the Pakistanis are of the view that a certain level of corruption prevails in government departments.
They were asked whether or not they had interacted with any of the 25 government departments over the past six months. The departments included education, health, Water and Power Development Authority, police, courts, revenue, Election Commission, irrigation, Benazir Income Support Programme, Nadra, municipality, railways, Pakistan International Airways and Income Tax.
As many 3,971 people, (2,305 men and 1,665 women), responded in affirmative from all four provinces, Islamabad Capital Territory and tribal region. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents who had engaged with government offices believed that corruption levels in as many as 25 selected government departments were either very high or somewhat high.
Balochistan stood significantly ahead in public perception about the corruption levels in government departments as compared to the other provinces and regions. About 82 per cent of respondents in Balochistan, 74 per cent in Sindh, 72 per cent in Islamabad Capital Territory, 68 per cent in Punjab, 52 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8 per cent in Fata said they believed corruption prevailed in government departments.
Its initial findings coincide with uproar over Panama Papers which show children of Sharif owning offshore companies along with other Pakistani leaders, including Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Osman Saifullah’s family. Fafen will release detailed socio-political profiles in July.