The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi on Thursday invited a panel of eminent females to discuss the role of women in an anti-corruption awareness launched by the bureau.


The panel included a lawmaker Mehtab Akbar Rashidi, chief of casualty at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Dr Seemin Jamali and actress and activist Zeba Bakhtiar.


The meeting held at NAB office was presided over by Director-General NAB Sirajun Naeem.


Talking about the campaign, he said it was intended to change the attitudes and mindsets of people regarding corruption and its effects on the society.


“Woman play a key role in character building of families and this campaign aims to include them in advocating its ill effects on a society,” he said. “We have to fight against corruption on many fronts. The NAB is an investigative agency but it is also striving to counter corrupt practices through a softer approach by launching public awareness campaigns.”


According to Naeem, land revenue department was one of the most corrupt departments of the government. “Illegal construction of high rise buildings in the midst of the city is suffocating the thickly populated areas, making lives of nearby residents miserable,” he said.


Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, a member of the Sindh Assembly, said a campaign for creating awareness against corruption had been the need of the hour the NAB had chosen rightly while selecting the elite panel of prestigious ladies for collaborating in the process.


“Even with NAB, we have neither been able to control or minimise corruption in the country,” she said. “We have to provide upright and honest people to serve our institutions. For that we must teach our children morality and dignity from the very beginning.”


However, she asserted that cosmetic efforts will not bring any change to the society. “We have to admit that our students get 95 percent marks in intermediate examinations but they fail to clear the university entry test,” she said. “There is a massive corruption in education department, from leaking examination papers to tampering results on bribes. How could we think of teaching our children moral values when their teachers get jobs on bribes?”


She lamented that when before the society used to looked down upon corruption but now it had become a sign of prestige and position. “Even the project managers of Asian Development Bank and World Bank are facilitating corruption in Pakistan,” Akbar claimed. “The foreigners are only concerned with their own interests and do not bother to play their due role in reducing corruption in our country.”


The chief of casualty ward at Jinnah hospital, Dr Seemin Jamali, said education must begin at home and it was the prime duty of a mother to impart moral values to her children. “It remains our topmost responsibility to teach our children in a manner that helps them understand and recognise the evil of corruption. We have to shape their minds by ingraining moral values from an early age,” she said.


Actress and activist Zeba Bakhtiar said she was ready to facilitate the campaign and called for making lessons part of the curriculum that help children learn the consequences of corrupt practices for them and their families.


Other panellists included psychologist Dr Fouzia Khan and chairperson of the ladies wing of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries Dr Saira Bano. (Courtesy by The News)


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