Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday welcomed the US President-elect Joe Biden’s declared intent of a policy to target dirty money – an initiative matching former’s vision and a key focus of decades-long political struggle.
“I welcome US President-elect Biden’s declared intent of a policy targeting dirty money,” the prime minister tweeted sharing a media report saying,
“Joe Biden is expected to make a crackdown on illicit finance both at home in the United States and abroad a centrepiece of his administration.”
I welcome US President elect Biden's declared intent of a policy targeting dirty money. Developing countries are being impoverished by their corrupt elites who launder money to richer countries and offshore tax havens.https://t.co/40GcFhprtz
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 9, 2020
As per a report published in US-based Foreign Policy magazine, Biden, as vice president, had also spearheaded Obama administration’s fight against corruption and kleptocracy which he also echoed in his article published in another publication this spring.
“I will lead efforts internationally to bring transparency to the global financial system, go after illicit tax havens, seize stolen assets, and make it more difficult for leaders who steal from their people to hide behind anonymous front companies,” Biden had said in his write up in Foreign Affairs magazine.
Endorsing the US president elect’s viewpoint, Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that the developing countries were being impoverished by their corrupt elites who launder money to richer countries and offshore tax havens.
Earlier in the year in a March/April issue of Foreign Affairs, almost eight months before the US November elections, Joe Biden, wrote a piece, “Why America Must Lead Again – Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump” promising a new vision for the United States of America and the world.
President-elect Biden’s pre-election vision – has the opportunity to resonate a cord in some key areas with the government of PM Imran Khan.
In the Foreign Affairs, Biden stated his intentions on combating corruption which he had described as “the core national security interest and democratic responsibility of the administration”. Biden had aspired fighting corruption not just in the US but all over the world with his suggestion of hosting a “Summit for Democracy” to achieve global democracy.
One of the summit’s key mandate would be “fighting corruption”. He had highlighted his priority to “lead efforts internationally to bring transparency to the global financial system, go after illicit tax havens, seize stolen assets, and make it more difficult for leaders who steal from their people to hide behind anonymous front companies.”
Biden’s ideas should be music to Imran Khan’s ears. Pakistani PM had shaped all his politics against corruption and abuse of political office since the very start of his political campaign when he first addressed a large gathering in the historic Lahore Jalsa of October 2011.
Khan’s subsequent election campaigns (2013 and 2018) and his government since coming to power in 2018 is focused on this agenda. Those familiar with PMO inside conversations confirm that Imran Khan sincerely believes that a modern democracy cannot survive without putting a decisive end to the abuse of political office and he is prepared to risk his government on this belief.
He has been pressing on the western governments that money looted from Pakistan and stashed safely in western banks and properties – by previous leaders like Sharifs and Zardaris – should be returned. With Biden’s convictions against corruption, Khan definitely strikes a common chord. How the twain will meet remains to be seen.