The Finance Minister informed the Parliament that the government will renegotiate Pak-Swiss tax treaty to bring back the estimated 200 billion dollars of Pakistani money stashed in Swiss banks. This is a political gimmick and is not likely to yield any results. Most corrupt people transfer the money to other countries, as evidenced by the case of the infamous 60 million dollars. Gone are the days when the corrupt money was transferred to Swiss banks because of its secrecy laws. Now our corrupt transfer their looted wealth to developed countries such as UAE were it is invested in business, real estate and other activities.

The real threat to the country’s sovereignty is not from money in Swiss banks, but from illegal transfers to US, UK, UAE and other countries. These governments blackmail our rulers, who are mostly involved in money laundering, to follow foreign and financial policies against our national interest. If the government is really sincere, it should start at home; catch the swindlers who have accumulated huge sums of wealth. Instead of catching these thieves, we are giving them amnesty schemes to facilitate further corruption. To set an example, all the parliamentarians should declare their own foreign assets and those of their immediate family members’, to explain how these were acquired. If they voluntarily bring back their wealth I am sure others will follow. We should also ask our brother countries to give details of property and businesses of Pakistanis in their countries; if they are sincere to Pakistan they will provide us the information.

FAYYAZ UR REHMAN,

Islamabad, May 10.