'Pak to lose foreign funding if it severs links with Transparency International'

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Islamabad, Nov 22(ANI): Foreign funding to Pakistan may reportedly be directly hit if the country's government cuts its contacts with anti-corruption organization Transparency International Pakistan (TIP).

According to the News, severing contacts with the TIP would mean undoing all those Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), which were signed between the TIP and several major public sector enterprises to check corruption by ensuring transparency in the procurement process involving the taxpayers' money.

Sources said that even in the case of the Kerry-Lugar aid package of 7.5 billion dollars, the USAID had formally engaged the TIP, which had been assigned the task of maintaining an anti-fraud hotline and fraud awareness programme to ensure that the US funds do not go into the pockets of the corrupt and the money is spent for the purpose it is given to the Pakistan government.

TIP also monitors all the procurements of the World Bank's 176 million dollar five-year irrigation project, called Sindh Water Sector Improvement Phase-I Project.

The organization has been formally engaged in this project as an observer to check corruption.

Earlier, Pakistan's Interior Ministry had asked all ministries, divisions and departments to sever contacts with TIP, as the government has started investigating operations of the Pakistan chapter of the international anti-corruption organisation.

Sources confirmed that the Interior Ministry had appointed an IG level officer in this connection, as the government is of the view that no foreign agency can be allowed to undertake investigations in the country.

As such, authorities are trying to comprehend as to who and when the permission to undertake operations in Pakistan was accorded to the TIP.

It may be recalled that the government had come out with a strong reaction over the disclosure of a report by the TIP on November 4, in which Pakistan's position among the most corrupt nations was elevated by eight ranks.

The government had served a legal notice on it after passage of a resolution in the Sindh Assembly following the report's publication.

Official circles said that any organization involved in damaging Pakistan's reputation cannot be allowed to function in the country, and activities of the TIP may be described as anti-Pakistan. (ANI)

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