November 16: In a first of its kind initiative, PILDAT has authored Pakistan’s first civil society parallel report on compliance of Pakistan on the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is a first legally binding international instrument on anti-corruption. Pakistan is among 181 UN member states which have ratified UNCAC. A mandatory requirement under UNCAC is a review of implementation of its clauses for each signatory state. Officially, through a peer-review system, experts of two countries (selected through balloting) review the anti-corruption laws and procedures of another state to assess its implementation of UNCAC provisions based on the information provided by that state. In addition, independent parallel implementation review of a country by its civil-society organizations is also encouraged. PILDAT, therefore, undertook an independent parallel review of Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC to assess the effectiveness of our state institutions and mechanisms to combat corruption.
The voluminous 82-page PILDAT parallel report is based on extensive independent research that looks at Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC Chapter II (Preventive Measures) and Chapter V (Asset Recovery), as part of the UNCAC review cycle. The PILDAT report is a product of exhaustive research spanning over a year which has looked deeply at the intricacies of the myriad legal framework governing anti-corruption in Pakistan to carry out an objective and independent evaluation of the implementation of the framework by various State and government institutions. While dominant public discourse on anti-corruption in Pakistan is polemical and only based on a cursory view of the anti-corruption system in place, the PILDAT report is a result of wide-ranging in-depth study to produce an independent review from citizens’ perspective on Pakistan’s anti-corruption system and its implementation as well as performance of key institutions relating to Pakistan’s global commitments to anti-corruption.
The PILDAT parallel report underscores that Pakistan has made good progress on aspects of implementation and enforcement of UNCAC and in performance of some relevant institutions. The report highlights that within anti-corruption and oversight framework, Pakistan has implemented several important legal amendments in recent years that provide a budgetary oversight role for Parliament and has advanced access to information on the federal level. In provinces, there has been forward movement in adopting laws to tackle conflicts of interest and to provide a framework for whistleblowing, among others.
The key recommendation by PILDAT in its parallel report is the urgent need to strengthen oversight mechanism of Parliament for Pakistan’s implementation of UNCAC. The Parliamentary Standing Committees on Law and Justice, as well as others, need to play an effective and active role in the oversight of the implementation of UNCAC in Pakistan. It is the duty of parliamentarians to require the executive to follow national and international obligations, and for successive governments to regularly and openly report to the Parliament on the fulfilment of international obligations.
In our independent parallel review process, PILDAT shared a draft of the report with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its comments. The final version of the PILDAT report contains, to an extent possible, some of the recommendations made by the NAB.
The PILDAT report on the Implementation of UNCAC Chapter II (Preventive Measures) and Chapter V (Asset Recovery) in Pakistan has been officially published by the UNCAC Coalition, a global network of civil society organisations promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of UNCAC. PILDAT is grateful to the UNCAC Coalition for its assistance.
The independent PILDAT parallel report is intended as a contribution to the currently ongoing second cycle of official UNCAC implementation review of Pakistan. PILDAT, however, believes that more work needs to be done to effectively implement Pakistan’s anti-corruption system and our international commitments .
The report can be accessed globally and is available here: https://uncaccoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/Parallel-Report-PILDAT-final-27.10.21.pdf
An Urdu Translated version of the PILDAT report will be available soon.