Accord with Switzerland to share Pakistanis' bank data will bring transparency: Qureshi.

 
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ISLAMABAD -- Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said that an agreement under which Switzerland will share financial information of Pakistanis with Islamabad will bring transparency in the shifting of money to foreign destinations.

Speaking to reporters in his native Multan at a wide-ranging press conference, the minister said the government welcomes the accord under which Switzerland has agreed to provide "several kinds of information" to Pakistan.

Qureshi said there is nothing wrong if somebody has shifted wealth abroad that was earned from legitimate sources, as long as they can show the money trail for it and it has been moved abroad through official banking channels and not through money laundering.

"If they (Switzerland) share information with us it will improve Pakistan's accountability process and a hurdle will be created in corruption's path in the country," he added.

The Swiss parliament had earlier this week approved the automatic exchange of bank data with 18 additional countries starting from 2021, Swissinfo.ch reported.

Under the automatic exchange of financial information (AEOI), Swiss authorities will provide details of bank accounts held by other partner countries' citizens. In return, Switzerland will receive banking information of accounts held by Swiss citizens or residents in those countries, the publication reported.

Besides Pakistan, the other 17 countries added to the mechanism included Albania, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Dominica, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macau, Maldives, Nigeria, Niue, Oman, Peru, Samoa, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.

Qureshi, who was holding the press conference after attending the 8th ministerial meeting of the 'Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process' in Turkey, said that there was a "complete consensus" at the gathering that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan conflict and a negotiated political settlement is the only way to restore stability there.

He said Pakistan is facilitating the Afghan peace process in...

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