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‘Haven’ countries must return all stolen assets, urges PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged “haven” countries to immediately and unconditionally return all foreign assets that are shown to be stolen or whose “legitimacy” cannot be explained.

He said this while addressing the virtual launch event of the Final Report of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for achieving the 2030 Development Agenda.

PM called for the establishment of a UN coordination, adjudication and mediation mechanism on illicit financial flows, adding that Pakistan will work actively with all like-minded countries to realize these vital objectives.

The prime minister said the United Nation should initiate various steps, including negotiations on the new international tax cooperation and anti-money laundering legal instruments.

“National and cross-border financial transactions should be regulated under a “values-based” system, encompassing accountability, transparency, legitimacy, fairness, inclusion and equity,” said PM, adding that global financial governance must improve and policies on illicit flows must be implemented in a coordinated and coherent way by national and international institutions and bodies.

“International bodies dealing with tax matters, corruption and illicit financing should not be used as instruments of pressure and coercion against developing countries,” said PM.

He said that recovery of a stolen assets will enable the developing countries to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, build back better after the COVID crisis, address climate change and strengthen human rights.

The prime minister endorsed the Panel’s proposals, which include the application of international “values” of honesty and integrity to all financial transactions.

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