Panama Papers/Swiss Banks & Pakistan

 panamapapers.jpgPanama Papers must be put in perspective. The revelations have divulged the name of clients and their records from only one law firm in Panama. Imagine the treasure trove of information that may be available in thousands of law firms in more than twenty such tax havens, including Cayman Islands, Lichenstein, Luxemborg, Isle of Man, Jersey, Virgin Islands etc., and not the least among them, Switzerland. In 2014 in answer to my written question in the National Assembly Mr Ishaq Dar revealed...

that at least $ 200 Billion are stashed away by Pakistanis in only seven Swiss Banks. Details of what transpired can be seen on this link that gives a detailed picture:

http://www.na250.com/200_billion_in_swiss_banks

In response to further questions in later sessions, that why does not the Govt of Pakistan take advantage of the Swiss Restitution of Illicit Assets Act (RIAA) of 2010, he said that GoP is in negotiation with the Swiss Govt and will soon have an agreement.  I queried him that the RIAA is comprehensive and upon request of the GoP, the Swiss Govt will freeze all assets in their account of ‘politically touched’ persons, a term aptly defined by them in the law, to which Mr Ishaq Dar had no answer.  Please read the law below particularly Article 1, Article 2, Article 6 & Article 8:

This episode is now two and a half years old. This PMLN govt has not raised a single issue with the Swiss Govt. and have allowed things to die away in the press by default.  The law has no statute of limitations and even Zardari's case of US$ 60 million can be resurrected.

Dr Arif Alvi

 


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