The Integrity Icon Pakistan on Tuesday conferred awards to Pakistani civil servants in recognition of their work excellence, integrity and honesty in respective categories.

Amna Baig, ASP at Frontier Constabulary Lines in Islamabad; Daryan Khatoon, Principal of the Government Girls Lower Secondary school in Sukkur, Sindh; Mukhtar Paras, Director General of the Secretariat Training Institute in Islamabad; Tariq Javed, Deputy Commissioner in Qila Abdullah, Balochistan; and Azhar Ali, Chief Conservator of Forests in the Forest Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were awarded in a ceremony held here, said a press release issued here.

Integrity Icon is an annual event to benchmark the values of accountable leadership, transparency and integrity in Pakistan’s civil service. The campaign recognizes and celebrates government officials from across the country for their integrity and honesty.

Integrity Icon is currently in its fifth consecutive year in Pakistan and received more than 100 nominations which were screened and vetted by a jury comprising credible professionals from the civil services, academia and civil society of Pakistan.

The Icons’ dedication to serving citizens and carrying out their duties honestly earned them the respect of their colleagues, superiors and most importantly, of Pakistani citizens.

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis voted online and by SMS as part of the campaign after millions watched the Icons through social media platforms.

Zulfiqar Younus, Director of the Civil Services Academy in Lahore applauded the efforts of Accountability Lab Pakistan and congratulated this year’s Icons by saying: “Integrity Icon has become a popular award among public servants across the country.” He further shared that the Civil Services Academy, in collaboration with Accountability Lab Pakistan’s Accountable Leadership Program, has trained more than 270 young bureaucrats.

They were equipped “with tools and skills to understand the dynamics of accountability and transparency in their soon to be assumed role as young bureaucrats, to apply the respective skills in ensuring personal integrity throughout their careers, and to develop the same values in their teams and departments by being role models for all”.

The Icons have become well known for their efforts in their service towards citizens, pushing back against corruption and advocating for better governance in their provinces. Khan, in his role as Chief Conservator of Forests at the Forest Department in KP, single-handedly devised rules to prevent widespread deforestation and worked hard to prevent the misuse of authority by forest staff by rooting out middlemen involved in land negotiations benefiting small owners. “During this year’s campaign, we saw incredible energy from Pakistani citizens who have truly shown that they support and want to celebrate honest leaders,” noted Fayyaz Yaseen, Director of Programs for Accountability Lab Pakistan. “Let’s move away from ‘naming and shaming’ and towards ‘naming and faming’ those who uphold the Pakistani values of honesty, integrity and accountability.” Speaking to the audience, Mr. Thomas Seiler, Deputy Head of EU Delegation in Pakistan said that “Today we honor Pakistani public servants who stand for integrity and honest execution of their jobs. Their professional attitude is in the ultimate interest of each and every Pakistani citizen.

The EU always supports public service reforms based on improved accountability mechanisms including for better public finance management.”Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Lis Rosenholm Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan said, “I am honored to be part of this Integrity Icon Pakistan movement that is enabling the creation of role-models and celebrating honest public officials. Lack of integrity in any sector will only lead to corruption and inequality! Denmark has been number 1 in the Corruptions Perceptions Index as the least corrupt country in the world.

This is due to a strong culture of public administration. It is the hard work of the public sector and oversight bodies that hold the Government to account when it is needed.

Denmark also has a public sector that is transparent, well-organized and operates without bribery which eventually translates into a safe and stable environment for both people and businesses. I hope these civic and moral campaigns give rise to a Corruption-Free-Pakistan!”

 

The article was originally published in  Urdu Point, BaaghiTV and Quetta Voice