Truth and Accountability Commission
Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A welcome gesture indeed

Truth and Accountability Commission is a welcome gesture by the caretaker government. The trial of graft cases in not-so-transparent manner has raised eyebrows in the society. The lower trial courts often see the main accused not being produced on lame excuses, thus apparently delaying the process. On the other hand, the higher judiciary appears to be divided over judgments, which has shaken confidence of the people on dispensation of justice from the apex courts. Such lack of confidence on higher courts over differing verdicts will simply cast doubts as to whether the accused have ever resorted to corruption. It is against this backdrop, the Truth and Accountability Commission will settle such cases at the very roots and pave the way for reducing incidence of corruption in the country. The Voluntary Disclosure of Information Ordinance-2008, approved by the cabinet, under which the Commission would be formed. aims at curbing corruption, getting momentum to socio-economic and industrial development and reducing huge load of corruption cases through their quick disposal.  With the approval of the ordinance, any person who earned wealth through corruption could get clemency by disclosing his wealth statement to the commission voluntarily and depositing the same wealth to the state.  The commission has the right to seize the illegal wealth if it is not deposited to the commission within the stipulated time. But, according to the newly approved ordinance, no clemency would be showed in drug, arms and prostitution related cases. Anybody except those convicted for two years on corruption charge can appear before the commission for voluntarily unveiling their illegal wealth. Checking corruption and maintaining momentum of the economic and industrial growth are the two cardinal objectives of the measure. The Ordinance has 46 sections and the provisions of the Ordinance will prevail over other laws. The new law reflects the present caretaker government’s last chance for persons charged with corruption to get a reprieve and contribute to nation-building through their honesty, sincerity and dedication. The people might not be fully informed about the grim picture of corruption unless the present caretaker government would have conducted the anti-corruption drive. Corruption is the main enemy to national progress and development. We have to come out of the vicious circle of corruption at any cost.

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