Pak, UK reach agreement on repatriation of ‘looted wealth’
Islamabad, Sep 17 : Pakistan and the UK signed a justice and accountability agreement on Monday, nearly a month after Imran Khan, who has vowed to bring back money stolen by corrupt Pakistani politicians and taken to Britain, assumed power.
Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid jointly announced a justice and accountability agreement between the UK and Pakistan aimed at repatriating “the looted wealth of the country”.
The agreement, which the two ministers insisted will not target individuals but is a broader agreement between the two governments to collaborate for the elimination of a variety of crimes, was arrived at during the Pakistani-origin British home secretary’s official visit here, Dawn newspaper reported.
“The aim of this agreement is to bring back the looted wealth of the country,” Shahzad Akbar, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, said.
“The agreement on exchange of convicted personnel will also be renewed,” he said.
Khan’s government has pledged a corruption-free government and has promised to return to Pakistan allegedly stolen public money that was stashed abroad by politicians and others.
Prior to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s victory in the July 25 general elections, Khan had vowed to bring back some Rs 300 billion stolen by corrupt Pakistani politicians and taken to the UK.
Javid expressed the British government’s desire for mutual cooperation with Pakistan in defence, regional security and efforts against terrorism and extremism — the latter two of which, he said, are a common threat for the global community.
He described Pakistan as a “trustworthy friend of the UK” and said that eliminating corruption is a priority for both the countries.
Javid, who called on Prime Minister Khan and met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told reporters later that “no one can escape justice or act with impunity” and urged for a “more concerted action” to combat terror groups.
During talks, Qureshi stressed the need for expansion in cooperation between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
The two had discussed various aspects of regional and bilateral cooperation, particularly regional security, counter-terrorism, organised crime, migration, human trafficking, money laundering and asset recovery.
Qureshi also emphasised the need to translate existing ties into a tangible and multi-faceted strategic partnership.