ISLAMABAD: Before a crowd of more than 300 national officials and dignitaries in Islamabad, including high-level political party representatives, foreign ambassadors, public servants, and engaged citizens, Shehreyar Gul was named Pakistan’s third Integrity Idol winner today. Chosen from more than 300 nominees, Gul’s dedication to serving citizens and carrying out his/her duties honestly has earned him/her the respect of his colleagues, superiors and most importantly- Pakistani citizens.
“This is a huge honor for me” said Gul at today’s ceremony, noting that the award also belonged to all officials who are working to serve the public. He received the award from Minister of State for the Interior, Shehryar Afridi, who reiterated the importance of integrity and the government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.
Neil Buhne, the Resident Coordinator of the UN in Pakistan applauded the efforts of Accountability Lab Pakistan by stating, “Integrity Idol is part of a growing movement to shift the balance in favour of people with integrity and honesty. We should all be united in “naming and faming” people who are serving the Pakistani people and building accountability.” He congratulated all five Integrity Idols and this year’s popular vote winner saying: “It is these people that will help us achieve the SDGs. Integrity is key to building trust; and trust is essential to development”.
Shehryar Gul has become well-known across Pakistan for finding new ways to fix problems in his district; and for ensuring a free and fair election this year despite difficult circumstances. Gul added: “We are all united behind the idea of integrity- this is a collective award for everyone in government who is doing the right thing”.
Gul was the popular vote winner after tens of thousands of Pakistanis voted online and by SMS in the campaign after seeing videos of the Idols on television and social media. The videos were seen by millions of people across Pakistan.
Accountability Lab stressed that all of the Idols are winners, as each was selected as the person with most integrity within their province before the popular vote. The four other Idols in the 2018 competition included: Batool Asadi, the Additional Commissioner Revenue at the Commissioner Revenue Office in Quetta, Balochistan; Aamir Shehzad Shah, a Social Welfare Officer at the Office of Social Welfare in Islamabad; Amjad Iqbal, District Commander of the Elite Force in Shangla, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province; andAzadi Fateh an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mass Communications at Federal Urdu University in Karachi.
The nomination process for Integrity Idol Pakistan 2019 opened at the ceremony and Pakistani citizens are encouraged to nominate.
“We saw incredible energy today from the young people of Pakistan who have truly shown that they support and want to celebrate honest leaders,” noted Fayyaz Yaseen, Country Director 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.”
Now a global initiative, Integrity Idol began in Nepal as a way to recognize and inspire upstanding government officials five years ago. More about [Idol] and the four other Integrity Idols, including short videos outlining their accomplishments, is available atwww.integrityidol.org/pakistan.
Integrity Idol is a citizen-run movement to identify and celebrate upstanding government officials. Originating in Nepal in 2014, Integrity Idol has since evolved into a global movement in eight countries: Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mali, Nigeria, Liberia, South Africa and Mexico. In each country, local Accountability Lab teams run a nation-wide campaign to identify and encourage civil servants who demonstrate exemplary integrity in their work. Officials are nominated by and voted upon by the public at-large, with the annual campaign culminating in an award ceremony to celebrate the finalists. The Lab then works with the winners to push for integrity within government.
In Pakistan, Integrity Idol ran for the third time this year, with hundreds of nominations received from across the country. Integrity Idol 2018 was run by Accountability Lab Pakistan in collaboration with UNDP and Hum News.