Pakistan, UK reach agreement to bring laundered money back

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Britain on Monday reached an agreement to work towards curbing money-laundering and repatriating assets stashed away by Pakistanis in the UK.

The announcement with regard to the accord titled ‘Justice and Accountability’ was made during a joint press conference addressed by British Home Secretary Sajid Javed and Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem here in Islamabad.

As per the accord, the two countries will make efforts afresh to tackle money-laundering and help Islamabad bring back the assets stashed away by Pakistanis in the UK.

Javed said the eradication of corruption was the top priority of both the countries. “Both the countries have agreed to work again towards repatriation of assets as well as accused persons and work in this regard will begin after an approval from respective cabinets,” he added.

The secretary also said that money laundering was resulting in the low recovery of taxes and has played havoc on Pakistan’s economy.

“I have come to open a new chapter in ties with Pakistan,” he said and added that Pakistan is the UK’s closest and durable friend. The UK is also Pakistan’s biggest export market in Europe, he said.

The British home secretary maintained that his country wants to work with Islamabad to eradicate terrorism, acknowledging that Pakistan has suffered the most from extremism. He said that the British and Pakistani governments will also work towards exchanging prisoners in future.

Javed said that he held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad during which they discussed measures to curb money-laundering.

Earlier on September 14, the British government rejected a petition to extradite former finance minister Ishaq Dar citing the reason that it has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan.

The statement said that the UK has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan. Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 does allow special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances. However, under current law, an extradition process is initiated at the request of the government of the country in which the individual has been convicted of the crime.

It would, therefore, be the Pakistani government’s responsibility to initiate such proceedings.

 

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