New UK-Pakistan Partnership On Justice, Accountability; Agreement Signed on Repatriation of ‘Looted Wealth’

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SEP 17, 2018: Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday jointly announced a justice and accountability agreement between UK and Pakistan aimed at repatriating “the looted wealth of the country”.

The agreement — which the duo 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 British home secretary’s official visit to Islamabad.

“The aim of this agreement is to bring back the looted wealth of the country,” Shahzad Akbar, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Accountability, said, adding: “The agreement on exchange of convicted personnel will also be renewed.”

Mr. Javid said, “When it comes to corrupt individuals, we have deepened our cooperation. The UK is not reluctant in helping Pakistan, there is good cooperation between the two countries.”

The law minister added that the declaration agreed to today has to be further moulded. “We have not discussed individual cases,” Naseem said.

Javid said the UK wanted to develop an extradition treaty with Pakistan while answering a question about the cases against former finance minister Ishaq Dar and Nawaz Sharif’s sons wanted in Pakistan on corruption charges.

“Tackling corruption is a priority for both our governments. That is why today I am launching a new UK-Pakistan partnership on justice and accountability.” the British Home Secretary said.

The UK minister in an interview with BBC said he wanted to work with the Pakistani government on “accountability.”

He described Pakistan as a “trustworthy friend of the UK” and said that eliminating corruption is a priority for both the countries.

Britain has no formal extradition treaty with Pakistan. The “Section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003 does allow special extradition arrangements in exceptional circumstances.

However, under the current law, an extradition process is initiated at the request of the government of the country in which the individual has been convicted of a crime. It would, therefore, be the Pakistani government’s responsibility to initiate such proceedings.

The British Home Secretary –of Pakistan origin, expressed his government’s desire for mutual cooperation with Pakistan in defense, regional security and efforts against terrorism and extremism — the latter two of which, he said, are a common threat for the global community.

“The United Kingdom will continue to help Islamabad,” Javid assured while acknowledging that Pakistan has made “a lot of sacrifices” in the global war against terrorism.

Mr. Javid also called on PM Khan. They exchanged views on matters of bilateral interest. Earlier, he met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Sajid Javid presented a signed souvenir to PM Khan during his meeting.

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