It seems that our leaders are cursed to face storms and hurricanes, most of which they themselves create, as no sooner one storm subsides, another appears on the horizon. The gale force winds created by the NRO and the 18th Amendment had barely subsided when the TIP Corruption Index 2010 emerged and started another storm. Moralists say, 'As you sow, so shall ye reap and because of our sins of omission and commission as a nation, we have been reaping one bad crop after another, as each leader has led us up the proverbial garden path, promising us castles in the air and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. In Transparency Internationals Global Corruption Index Report 2010, Pakistan has hit a further low and has climbed five numbers up the ladder, from the previous 47, to become the 42nd corrupt country, while India has slipped down to 95 from 91 and Bangladesh from 43 to 42. In other words, corruption in Pakistan has increased in one year. However, not to be disheartened, as in 1996, during PPPs first tenure in government, we were ranked No. 2 by TI and pegged as 'One of the most corrupt countries in the world, closely trailing behind Nigeria and we survived that storm. At that time, our President was just a Minister for Investment and referred to as Mr 10%. Today, he is our President. Who knows, another two years and we might be on top of the ladder again. According to TIs website, The TPI perception index is based on the degree to which public sector corruption is perceived to exist in 178 countries around the world. It scores countries on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt) and is an aggregate indicator, calculated on the basis of data from 13 sources and 10 independent institutions. All sources measure the overall extent of corruption. In the CPI 2010 Report, the following seven sources provided data based on expert analysis: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Bertelsmann Foundation, Economist Intelligence Unit, Freedom House, Global Insight and the World Bank. The electronic media in Pakistan has taken up the battle cry and like a bull in a china shop, has charged into the attack, butting and trampling anyone that comes within its sight and provided our TV anchors more ammunition to fire and use against the got. For the last one week, every TV anchor worth his salt, has invited Adil Gilani, Chairman TIP to give his views and comments on the report, while members of the government have been invited to defend themselves. This ends up in the usual shouting and mudslinging match, which, both the anchors and the viewers seem to enjoy, but end up in embarrassing and shaming the nation on the world stage. Some of the interviews and comments by Adil, have ruffled many important feathers and the Government is protesting and stating that TI is acting far beyond its mandate and that its allegations of corruption without proof and slanderous remarks are against TIs mandate. However, the issue of corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and unlawful appointments of bureaucrats in our institutions, the Rental Power Plants rip off, which has been described as the biggest crime in the history of Pakistan, privatisation of KESC and written off bank loan have been under discussion on every talk programme for the last two years. Therefore one fails to understand why TIP has become the punching bag of some anchors, who themselves have done a great job in exposing the corruption and mismanagement in government and that corruption has been institutionalised in Pakistan. It has also been under discussion in the Supreme Court, the Parliament and media. Due to this rise in corruption, the credibility of the government has reached such a low, that WB, ADB and other donor agencies are refusing to provide aid to the Government directly and want all funds to be monitored by TI. Yet despite the intensive pressure and criticism, the Government has taken a negative and 'just-dont-care and defiant attitude, leading to further frustration and anger among the general public. For the record, I have interacted with Adil Gilani and he has clarified that the TI report is prepared, compiled and published in Germany, based on the information collected from the various sources mentioned in their website and TIP only disseminates the information. Hamid Maker (Email: trust@helplinetrust.org)