World to join hands against cor­rup­tion

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

UK Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron will host a Sum­mit in London Thurs­day aimed at beat­ing cor­rup­tion, weeks af­ter ad­mit­ting he had a stake in an off­shore fund set up by his fa­ther. Lead­ers will be asked to sign a global dec­la­ra­tion that prom­ises to ex­pose cor­rup­tion, pun­ish those re­spon­si­ble and help its vic­tims, in a bid to tackle an is­sue that Cameron said has been a ta­boo for too long.

Though to some an­a­lysts, the Sum­mit marks the lat­est at­tempt by the UK leader to deal with the po­lit­i­cal fall­out of mil­lions of doc­u­ments leaked from Pana­ma­nian law firm Mos­sack Fon­seca, one of which re­vealed he once owned a stake in an off­shore fund linked to his fa­ther but what­ever the mo­tive, it is a step in the right di­rec­tion. It would pro­vide a fo­rum to dis­cuss the is­sue of cor­rup­tion and trans­fer of ill­got­ten wealth from one coun­try to an­other and might re­sult into some sort of un­der­stand­ing to curb the men­ace. In the ab­sence of any agreed univer­sal mech­a­nism, some coun­tries like Switzer­land have be­come safe havens for cor­rup­tion money and are not will­ing to en­ter into se­ri­ous talks with those harmed in this way. Sim­i­larly, some coun­tries are mis­us­ing their laws and ex­ploit­ing loop­holes in the in­ter­na­tional law to safe­guard and pro­mote so-called off­shore com­pa­nies en­gaged in il­le­gal and fake busi­nesses and fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions. Panama Papers have high­lighted the is­sue of cor­rup­tion and it is right time that all stake­hold­ers dis­cuss the prob­lem thread­bare and ex­tend co­op­er­a­tion for evo­lu­tion of a fool­proof plan of ac­tion to fight the men­ace ef­fec­tively. Sim­i­larly, the coun­tries should ben­e­fit from in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices to evolve trans­par­ent sys­tem of in­ter­nal ac­count­abil­ity. We hope Pak­istan too would not only par­tic­i­pate but con­trib­ute to the ob­jec­tives of the London moot.

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