ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Thomas Drew on Tuesday said the United Kingdom had offered Pakistan’s new government the technical assistance to address the issue of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and meet the required criteria for coming out of the grey list.
Speaking at his lecture on ‘‘Pak-UK relations in view of post-Brexit foreign policy” at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), the British high commissioner said Pakistan had done very well in the last five months on the issue of FATF by taking remedial steps to check money laundering.
To a question on any plan of the UK for repatriation of the accused Pakistanis in money laundering including former finance minister Ishaq Dar and sons of former premier Nawaz Sharif, the British high commissioner said though he couldn’t comment on individual cases, but “we will consider any request by the Pakistan government on merit”.
High Commissioner Thomas Drew said in the post Brexit world, the United Kingdom would continue to strengthen its vision of a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan with major focus on collaboration in economy and education.
“The UK has a very direct and unique stake in Pakistan’s future stability, security and prosperity. Together, we face some shared challenges and opportunities,” he said.
“The UK will remain tied-up with its policies regarding Pakistan’s long-term stability and security even after its withdrawal from the club of European Union,” he added.
The British high commissioner said the UK’s commitment to world security would not change following the Brexit and NATO would remain the cornerstone of its foreign policy.
He termed Britain’s relationship with Pakistan as “non-discretionary” which, he said, focused on helping the country unleash its potential in diverse areas including economic growth, education and water preservation.
The high commissioner said it was in the interest of Pakistan, India and the world to resolve all its outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir.
He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had an immense economic potential, not only for Pakistan but for the region.
He mentioned that the UK’s diplomatic mission in Pakistan was the second largest in the world and also the DFID’s (Department for International Development) was largest bilateral programme in the world with almost half a billion dollars.
Drew said more than two percent population of UK related to Pakistan in terms of origin and was significantly contributing to social and economic fabric of UK.
He said the energy, resilience and motivation of Pakistani people was encouraging and remarkable. He also pointed that international media’s coverage about Pakistan’s was not always fair.—NNI