Pakistan and the UK will be launching a new anti-money laundering programme soon.
This was announced at a joint press conference in Islamabad addressed by British Home Secretary Sajid Javed and Law Minister Farogh Nasim.
Javed said the UK will work with Pakistan to combat terrorism as well as corruption. It was also announced that the two countries will be restarting their prisoner transfer agreement so that prisoners from both countries can serve sentences closer to their families.
The British home secretary said that the British and Pakistani governments are committed to fighting corruption and getting Pakistan off the FATF’s Grey List.
We believe that the UK is Pakistan’s most committed and durable partner, said Javed. He said the UK is also Pakistan’s biggest export market in Europe.
He congratulated the new prime minister on taking office and said the UK wants to join Pakistan in building a strong future.
“I’m here to reaffirm our relationship and form new bonds of friendship,” he said. He is also in Pakistan to discuss security, justice and regional stability.
He spoke about improving bilateral trade and how he has visited education, community and security projects to help make Pakistan prosperous and safe.
Pakistan has suffered the most from extremism and we aim to crack down on it through strong relationship, he said. “Money laundering has direct impact on Pakistan. It reduces tax, takes money from basic services and is a barrier to investment,” said Javed, who added that when he met Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier in the day, they both agreed that terrorism needs to be tackled and that it is a priority of both governments.
I am launching a new UK-Pakistan partnership on justice and accountability and I want to ensure that no one can escape justice, said the home secretary, adding that PM Khan and he both believe corruption is an equally important issue that must be tackled.
He announced the appointment of a new British envoy on justice and accountability and said the PM will work closely with the adviser on accountability.
The law minister said that a few task forces have been formed by cabinets to bring reforms in civil and criminal justice systems and that Pakistan accepts the support by the British government. There’s a new capacity building programme for law enforcement agencies and other institutions, he explained.
Making good on earlier promises
The new government has made serious promises to bring back wealth taken abroad through money laundering. After assuming office, Prime Minister Imran Khan told UK High Commissioner Thomas Drew that “it was our firm resolve to bring back the country s money laundered to the UK”.
Hours after he was elected prime minister, British PM Theresa May called Imran Khan to congratulate him and offer her best wishes. During the phone call she said her government wants to improve Pak-British relations.
“We are ready to open new avenues of partnership with Pakistan,” May told PM Imran Khan. “We will fully assist the new government.” Prime Minister Imran Khan took the opportunity to talk about money laundering. He said, “Money laundering is a severe problem for developing countries.” He also expressed his hope to work with foreign governments, especially Britain, to put an end to money laundering.