I will visit UK next week to share, take up pending corruption cases list, says Shehzad Akbar

APP01-14 ISLAMABAD: October 14 - Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability, Shahzad Akbar and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani addressing a joint press briefing. APP photo by Irfan Mahmood

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability, Shahzad Akbar Sunday said that he would visit the United Kingdom (UK) next week to share pending corruption cases list and take up these case with UK authorities. At a press conference flanked by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media, Iftikhar Durrani here at Press Information Department (PID), Shehzad Akbar said an agreement with the UK government to reopen corruption cases was in place.
“We have increased pace to counter challenges such as money laundering and corruption in mega projects,” he said and added that country was facing annually Rs 10 billion money laundering.
Shahzad Akbar said that ratification of Swiss treaty for exchange of information, which would give Pakistan information on bank accounts, was supposed to be completed by 2013-14 but had been intentionally delayed.
Akbar said that Pakistan had officially asked the German government for information and once it was received, they would be able to access information for accounts created, both in the past, and in the future.
Further updating the media, he said, overall debt has crossed Rs 30, 000 billion.
Public sector issues are very pathetic with Rs 400 billion PIA losses and electricity Rs 1200 billion losses.
“Similarly, Pakistan Railways, Utility Store Corporation is facing losses. All these we got in inheritance. Public sector department’s losses have crossed Rs one trillion,” he added.
Taking a step forward to fulfil its promise of retrieving ill-gotten wealth of Pakistanis in foreign countries, he said the government had formed a high-powered task force, comprising officials of Federal Investigation Agency, National Accountability Bureau as well as intelligence agencies.
“Matters pertaining to corruption are not limited to the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) anymore rather a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is also looking into these cases,” Akbar said.
Further, the PM’s special assistant said that the government was in talks with United Arab Emirates (UAE) China for possible agreements to bring back money taken out of the country through illegal channels.
“We have inherited an economic crisis from the previous governments. Pakistan’s foreign debt of Rs. 30,000 billion and economic problems are a result of faulty policies of previous regimes,”.
“The public sector deficit has exceeded beyond Rs 100 billion and Pakistan was fast moving from (FATF’s) grey list to black list yet the former leaders of the country were least bothered,” he alleged.
The government would pursue any traces of black money, he said and added “We will contact the governments of all countries where we find traces of illegally transferred money.”
He said that corruption in mega projects like in Multan Metro scandal also resurfaced.
Similarly, different accounts and fake companies were opened on fake names.
“There is one Private Company but on investigation the owners was lower grade employees.”
Similarly, Faloda seller’s (vendor) account also resurfaced with Rs. 2 billion transaction. Five transactions of Rs. 2 billion were also made in Rikhsha owner Rashid’s account while Rs 800 million was transferred in quilt seller’s account.
Shehzad Akbar appreciated Supreme Court for playing key role in all this investigation.
The government is providing logistic support and all possible support.
Replying to a question, he said NAB was an independent institution which had witnessed full reorganized after appointment of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal as its Chairman. LNG case was also under investigation, he added.
Replying to a question, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Iftikhar Durrani said that PEMRA needed to take action against fake news.
He said that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa all the information were shared under right to information act.
He said that government was improving right to information on federal level to make access to information more easy.
Iftikhar Durrani said that the government believed in freedom of press and considered self accountability adding that “We want media to monitor our 100 days plan progress.”
He said that in this regard a website was established with purpose to keep media updated.
He said that “he is very accessible for media persons and they can verify any kind of news.”