ISLAMABAD — Pakistanis illegally stow $200 billion in Swiss banks and Pakistan will talk with Switzerland on how to get it back, media reports today quoted Economic Minister Ishaq Dar as saying.
“One of the directors of Credit Suisse AG stated on the record that $97 billion worth of Pakistani capital was deposited only in his bank,” Dar wrote to parliament. “Similarly, Micheline Calmy-Rey, a former Swiss foreign minister, is reported to have put the amount of Pakistani money hidden in Switzerland at $200 billion.”
Dar said the situation called for immediate action because the money could help Pakistan deal with its external debt of $150 billion.
The finance minister said the government was working under a 2010 Swiss law known as the Restitution of Illicit Assets Act. It allows the Swiss government to exchange information regarding money that might have been obtained illegally and deposited in its banks.
Corruption and tax evasion are key problems for Pakistan, which needs regular assistance from international donors to deal with its debt and budget problems.