–MLA law to be presented before the cabinet
–Pakistan seeks Germany’s help to get Swiss accounts details
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Sunday said that government officials will visit the United Kingdom (UK) during the next week in order to get corruption cases reopened.
While addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Akbar said, “An agreement with the UK government to reopen corruption cases is in place.”
“We have requested the UK for cooperation for Ishaq Dar’s return though we do not have any agreement with the country for the transfer or deportation of accused persons,” Akbar said.
The PM’s special assistant further said, “Pakistan has solicited details of 33 companies from the National Crime Agency.”
“We have increased the pace to counter challenges such as money laundering and corruption in mega projects,” he said.
He also said that matters pertaining to corruption are not limited to the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) anymore as a joint investigation team (JIT) is also looking into these cases.
Speaking about the properties of Sharif family in London, he said that the case is in court and if the decision came against the family then Pakistan will also request the UK to hand over the properties to the government.
PM’s special assistant also said that the government is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China for possible agreements to bring back money taken out of the country through illegal channels. He also said that a special asset recovery unit has been established in the Prime Minister Office which is working under his supervision.
He said that over the last decade or so no effort was made for the asset recovery despite the fact that countries such as China and India achieved great success in the recovery of assets.
“We have inherited nothing from the previous government except for an economic crisis. Pakistan’s foreign debt of Rs30,000 billion and economic problems are a result of faulty policies of the previous government,” Akbar said, adding that “political intervention had destroyed state institutions”.
“The public sector deficit has exceeded beyond Rs100 billion and Pakistan was fast moving from the [FATF’s] greylist to blacklist yet the former leaders of the country were least bothered,” he alleged.
He also said, “We will contact the governments of all countries where we find traces of illegally transferred money.”
MLA LAW TO BE PRESENTED BEFORE CABINET:
PM’s special assistant also said that the government has finalised a broad-based Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) law to obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions about financial crimes and mega corruption cases involving Pakistanis.
He said that the law will soon be placed before the cabinet and it will be brought first through an ordinance and then presented before the parliament.
He said that this law will more open and will empower the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the FIA to carry out the investigations as per the international treaties.
Shahzad Akbar said that a bilateral treaty is again being ratified with the Swiss authorities which will enable the country to get the details of the bank accounts opened by Pakistani nationals.
PAKISTAN SEEKS GERMANY’S HELP:
Shahzad also said that Pakistan has sought help from Germany for the recovery of $200 billion stashed by Pakistanis in the banks of Switzerland.
He said that Germany had purchased the details of Swiss bank accounts when they were leaked from Switzerland in 2010 and had shared it with a number a countries, including India.