Pakistan eyeing new agreement with Switzerland for return of $200bn

Pakistan is to hold discussions along with Switzerland on a new tax agreement in the hope of retrieving state assets illegally stashed in the European country’s secret banking system, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the National Assembly on yesterday.

Ishaq Dar

Ishaq Dar told parliament talks on a new deal along with Switzerland would be organized from August 26 to 28. Switzerland introduced a new law in 2011 to make it much easier for countries to recover assets stolen by politicians and invisible in its banks. In early 2012, Switzerland said it had returned $1.83 billion in illicitly-placed assets to countries engaged in regime changes, but Pakistan’s present tax deal doesn’t allow it to take benefit of the law.

In a written respond to the lower house of parliament, Ishaq Dar said the government was “seriously working to seek help of the new Swiss laws… to exchange heretofore confidential information about ill-gotten monies stashed up in the clandestine Swiss banking industry.” Ishaq Dar said the Swiss government have mentioned desire to renegotiate the present Pak-Swiss deal.

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