Pakistan PM will Try to Retrieve Looted Wealth Hidden Abroad

Published: 07 August 2018

Imran KhanImran Khan By Stephan Röhl (CC BY-SA 2.0)

By By Haroon Janjua

Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister told British authorities last week that he will try to retrieve wealth corrupt Pakistani politicians have looted and transferred to the UK.

Imran Khan is a former international cricketer who turned into a politician and won the July 25 election after promising to end corruption in the government. He pledged to push for probes into the wealth of Pakistan’s rich and powerful elite.

Khan told UK Ambassador to Pakistan Thomas Drew that his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, wants to bring money looted from Pakistan’s public institutions and hidden in the UK back to Pakistan.

A new anti-corruption legislation in the U.K. may be of help as it forces people owning property worth more than £50,000 (US$70,000) and who have suspected links to organized crime or are vulnerable to graft as a result of their political position to explain where they got their money from.

Even before elections, Khan’s PTI party initiated anti-corruption probes and one of them resulted in the ousting of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his subsequent conviction. Authorities followed leads from the Panama Papers leaks and found that Sharif and his family had offshore companies and luxury flats in London that are worth nearly US$10 million. The family could not explain where they got that money from.

Khan will formally request the laundered money to be returned to Pakistan after he formally takes his post in the coming weeks.

"We look forward to continuing to support Pakistan build the democratic, secure and prosperous future its people deserve," Ambassador Drew tweeted after meeting with Khan.