Govt seeks support against money laundering

The Nation

ISLAMABAD – The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar here Monday assured that the PTI government’s commitment to rooting out corruption remains firm and irrevocable and increasing the capabilities of institutions in country.

Talking to private news channel, he emphasised that foreign countries should cooperate with Pakistan to identify those Pakistanis who piled up properties worth billions of rupees abroad. Their cooperation is also sought to bring back all the looted money”.

He mentioned that the British Investigation team would visit Pakistan after Christmas for ongoing case investigation recovery.

He said the PTI government is also committed to extending all possible support to strengthen National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and increase the bureau’s capacity as government was going all-out to introduce a mechanism of checks and balances through a set of legislation to ensure fair and transparent governance.

He expressed confidence that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would strengthen the institutions that faced a ollapse during previous government through corruption.

“We have increased the pace to counter challenges such as money laundering and corruption in mega projects,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said the National Accountability Bureau is completely an independent institution and is doing a very good job to curb the menace of corruption in the country. 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. He further said, “We will contact with other 26 governments of

all countries where we signed an agreement to find traces of illegally transferred money.”

Taking a step forward to fulfill its promise of retrieving ill-gotten wealth of Pakistanis in foreign countries, the government has formed a high-powered task force comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau as well as intelligence agencies .

Shahzad Akbar said that a bilateral treaty is again being ratified with the British authorities which will enable the country to get the details of the bank accounts opened by Pakistani nationals.

He emphasised that in Pakistan there is need to firm up law policies as in past there was no law was introduced for mutual legal assistance added 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.

The government has finalized a broad based mutual legal assistance law to obtain evidence from foreign jurisdictions about financial crimes and mega corruption cases involving Pakistanis, he said.

He said ,PTI government is in contact with different opposition parties to ensure their support in getting the approval from parliament over the proposed legal reforms.

He said this law is more open and will empower the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the FIA to carry out the investigations as per the international treaties. Akbar said the prime minister was so concerned about the recovery of looted money that he would himself monitor the progress of the task force and other relevant departments in this regard.

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