Pakistan inks MoU with 27 countries including UK and Switzerland to recover looted money

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Nation special report
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with 26 countries to tackle the issue of money laundering and has signed the agreement with Switzerland today (Thursday). This was disclosed by Prime minister Imran Khan disclosing that $11 billion dollars were siphoned off in 26 countries.

“We have received information from 26 countries that Pakistanis have deposited $26 billion dollars in their bank accounts. Iqama was being used to open bank accounts to launder money. Over the last four years, Pakistanis have bought properties worth USD 9 billion,” he said while addressing a special event held to brief the nation about the 100-day working of his government.

Imran Khan revealed that fake accounts having Rs375 billion were opened in Pakistani banks and Pakistan was paying off Rs6 billion a day to return foreign debts. 

Imran Khan, who was the last of an assortment of speakers at the event attended by government functionaries, began by thanking First Lady Bushra Bibi for putting up with his tough schedule, adding that “I have taken just a single day off in the first 100 days”.

He said the policies adopted by his government in the first century of days in power were inspired by the state of Madina.

“In Madina, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) adopted policies that were based on compassion; all policies were made for the poor,” he said. “The tax system of Zakat was established where money was collected from the rich and redistributed to the downtrodden.”

A major contributing factor to the “downtrodden’s” plight, the prime minister said, is corruption, and explained why he took a hardened stance against the practice.

“The difference between developed and underdeveloped countries is corruption,” he said. “We have so many assets but we are still behind, and our institutions are in shambles — all because of corruption. I did not know the extent of theft and corruption until I came to power. Every day something new comes up,” he stated.

The prime minister dedicated a sizable portion of his speech outlining his future plans, saying: “Four million children will be provided nourishment in order to reduce stunted growth, whereas the Benazir Income Support Programme will be expanded.”

PM Khan vowed to equip farmers with modern technology.

“Small farmers are left behind because they do not have the technology, knowledge and money,” he said. “We have to provide them the latest machinery and subsidies so they can purchase [latest] machinery.”

The premier said that Pakistan’s fisheries exports are “non-existent despite water resources”, adding that “a private party has done a pilot project through which shrimp farming can be done”.

He also floated the idea of “caged fishing, especially in Balochistan” which he said has “so much potential; we can export as well”.

Regarding the water crisis, PM Khan offered a “low-cost and quick” solution.

“Bhasha Dam will take time as it’s a huge project,” he said. “We found out that if we retain water in canals etc, it will conserve more water.”

PM Khan labelled the “nationalisation of industries in the 1970s” a “wrong decision”, stressing the importance of the creation of wealth in growing economies.”Investments cannot come until investors make money,” he explained. “People must be given a chance to make money.”