LONDON - Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar has termed his visit to United Kingdom and meetings with government officials very successful and hoped it would help Pakistan check corruption and curbing money laundering besides recovery of assets acquired abroad through illegal means.

The special assistant hoped that next month the matter of Swiss accounts issue would be resolved.

He was talking to a group of Pakistani media persons at Pakistan High Commission (PHC) here the other day. Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan to United Kingdom (UK) Muhammad Ayub was also present on the occasion.

Mirza Shahzad Akbar said that his meetings with UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid and other officials of law enforcement agencies and International Anti Corruption Unit would prove a way forward to further enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries in the areas including prisoners’ transfers, recovery of assets acquired through illegal means abroad.

He said that he held meetings with British Home Secretary Sajid Javid and discussed issues of mutual interest and steps to curb money laundering as well as recovery of assets acquired through illegal means.

The SAPM said “He also discussed with British Home Secretary issues of mutual interest, particularly those related to the provision of mutual legal assistance, extradition requests, prisoner transfer agreement and steps to curb money laundering as well as recovery of assets acquired through illegal means.”

He also informed about his meetings with other representatives of the British government Debbie Price, the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor of the International Justice Organised Crime Division and Philomena Creffield, Head of the UK Central Authority.

Mirza Shahzad said that UK authorities had assured Pakistan for working in close cooperation at the operational level, having enhanced collaboration in the area of information sharing and reviewed progress on specific cases for extradition requests made to the British government.

He expressed the hope that issue of prisoners transfer agreement with the British government would be resolved soon.

He disclosed that Donald Toon, Director Crime Agency of the UK, would be visiting Pakistan in the first week of December this year.

Replying to a question, he denied that accountability process was targeted towards a particular family. He said the government of Pakistan and its accountability institutions were against all those elements who were involved in corruption and money laundering and acquired assets abroad through illegal means.

He said the government was doing across the board accountability and wanted to purge Pakistan of corruption.

Mirza Shahzad Akbar on the occasion vowed to take actions against all those corrupt elements who looted the national exchequer and involved in money laundering and made properties abroad through illegal means.

He said actions were being taken against corrupt people in the light of the Supreme Court’s decisions. He informed the media that more than 35 Mutual Legal Assistance Cases (MLAs) of Pakistan were pending with British Government.

British government had assured Pakistan for resolving the MLAs on priority basis and on the basis of reciprocity.