LONDON: British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said that Britain wants to work with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government in Pakistan, but cooperation in areas of curbing corruption and money-laundering will be strictly linked with the “evidence” of corruption and no consideration will be paid to political rhetoric.
The home secretary was in Pakistan early this week where he held wide-ranging talks with Pakistani government officials and the two sides announced a new partnership to eradicate corruption and tackle terror.
Speaking in Islamabad, Javid said the partnership will strive for “justice and accountability” and the PTI government said that it will help eradicate money-laundering.
But in London, the home secretary cautioned against any unrealistic expectations and linked progress against alleged money-launderers or corrupt elements strictly to merit and through proofs.
Javid said: “We are not interested in the politics of things but when you pursue justice, all you are interested in is evidence and going after the evidence.”
He welcomed the new government of Imran Khan in Pakistan and said Britain looked forward to working with him. “We welcome the new government in Pakistan. It’s the government we will be closely with, as with the previous governments, in achieving its aims.”
The home secretary said that the UK government wanted to help Pakistan tackle corruption.
He backed up word by word what the British government said only five days ago that only due legal process will be followed.
A British government spokesman told The News in an exclusive interview that Her Majesty’s government will work “constructively” with the Pakistani government but any action in the UK would follow due legal process and that the British government was “aware of the political sensitivities involved” in cases relating to Pakistan.
Responding to a question if the UK authorities were aware about PM Khan’s claim that billions of pounds have been looted from Pakistan and stored in London, the spokesman said that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was the right authority to assess whether “assets are legal or illegal.”
“We have a robust legal and regulatory framework for investigating suspected money laundering, corruption and the recovery of illicit assets,” the spokesman said.
A few days ago in Pakistan, the British home secretary met Khan and announced a new partnership between the two countries to fight terror.
He said that “no one can escape justice or act with impunity” and urged for a “more concerted action” to combat terror groups.
Javid said they discussed security issues and mechanisms for bilateral prisoner transfers, as well as money laundering, trade and education.
Khan’s government has pledged corruption-free governance and has promised to return to Pakistan allegedly stolen public money.