As the Washington DC-based World Justice Project (WJP) released comparative Rule of Law data of 113 countries, PILDAT expressed concern at Pakistan’s low ranking – 106 or 7th from the bottom. Pakistan may derive some solace at slight improvement in its rank which was 98th out of 102 countries in 2015 but it shows a considerable deterioration since 2014 when Pakistan ranked 73rd out of 99 countries, PILDAT added. PILDAT commentary on WJP report also noted that Pakistan’s score in 2016 remained stagnant at 0.38 since 2015 which is a deterioration from a score of 0.46 in 2014. PILDAT also pointed out the low performance of Pakistan under various parameters among the SAARC countries. Pakistan ranks the lowest among 6 SAARC countries when it comes to the likelihood of prosecution and punishment of a high ranking government official embezzling public funds. The chances of prosecution and punishment of a corrupt official in Pakistan is a poor 18% compared to 19% in India, 24% in Afghanistan, 42% in Sri Lanka, 45% in Bangladesh and 49% in Nepal. Among the five major urban centres in Pakistan, likelihood of prosecuting and punishing a corrupt government official is the highest in Lahore (23%) which means the most positive perception of accountability in the country. PILDAT also highlighted that a high percentage (78%) of the population paid a bribe to process government permit and 74% paid a bribe to Police according to the WJP report. ‘As compared to South Asian peer countries, more Pakistanis report paying a bribe to process government permits and to receive assistance from the police’ states the WJP report on Pakistan. Just over 40% Pakistanis experienced a dispute in the past 12 months. PILDAT considered it an indictment of our Justice system that only one third of them took any action to resolve their dispute. Of those who did take action, most (72%) chose to take their dispute to a traditional, customary or local leader such as a Jirga, Biraderi or mullah instead of going to a court of law for resolution. PILDAT asked political leadership to pay heed to the key finding that Pakistanis consider corruption to be the most important issue facing the country. 27% cited reducing corruption followed by reducing crime (26%) and reducing poverty (23%), as per the report. WJP has been producing annual Rule of Law Index Reports since 2011. These reports measure Rule of Law based on the experiences and perceptions of the general public and in-country experts worldwide. PILDAT, using the adapted methodology of WJP, had developed a Provincial Rule of Law Index for Pakistan in 2016. In this pioneering effort Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had ranked No. 1 in General Public Rule of Law Index and Punjab topped in the Experts Rule of Law Index.