Opp calls out govt over foreign assets of PM’s sister | Pakistan Today

Opp calls out govt over foreign assets of PM’s sister

–PML-N, PPP leaders demand formation of JIT to probe foreign properties of Aleema Khan, call her Imran Khan’s ‘benamidar’

–Info Minister Fawad slams Opp for making PM’s charity projects controversial, says Aleema had already declared her properties 

ISLAMABAD: The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for its “double standards” of justice and demanded an investigation into the foreign properties owned by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan.

The opposition parties alleged that Aleema had bought illegal property by misappropriating party funds and donations meant for the siblings charity projects — Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital and Namal University.

Responding to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb’s tweet that Aleema Khan bought illegal property using PTI funds, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “Do not make institutions like Shaukat Khanum and Namal [a university established by Imran Khan] controversial to keep your deceased politics alive when you have not accomplished a penny’s worth of goodness in your lifetime. Aleema Aapa has never been the prime minister and has declared all properties herself. Your politics is restricted to planting lies.”

Earlier, Aurangzeb had tweeted “What were the sources of income through which Khanum purchased properties worth billions of rupees? In reality, Khanum is Imran Khan’s benamidaar. The sources of earning are the board of the NUML University and fundraising for Shaukat Khanum.”

She further said, “Fawad Chaudhry must not beat about the bush but talk about Aleema’s theft,” and questioned when the JIT will be formed to investigate allegations against the PM’s sister.

The reaction came after a local newspaper cited a State Bank of Pakistan report to the Election Commission regarding 18 undeclared bank accounts of the PTI and the undeclared overseas assets owned by Aleema. The news report was rebutted by the SBP later in the day.

Responded to the matter, the SBP said it “neither maintains the database of banks’ individual accountholders nor possesses any related information/record.”

“Banks being the custodian of customers’ information may directly provide this information to various agencies, on a case-to-case basis, as per procedure laid down under the respective laws. Therefore, it is out the of question that SBP has reported 18 undeclared bank accounts of PTI out of total 26 to the ECP as reported by English language newspaper,” it had added.

Sindh Works and Services Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that “different standards for justice were being followed for PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur and the prime minister’s sister”.

Senior PPP leader Saeed Ghani demanded the formation of a JIT to probe into the case and said that Aleema Khan’s name should be on the Exit Control List.

He further said, “The 18 undeclared accounts should be thoroughly investigated as to where the money came from in these accounts and who withdrew those amounts and where they were spent.”

“The perception that Imran Khan embezzled funds for Shaukat Khanum Hospital was gaining strength,” the PPP leader remarked, adding that “Aleema Khan’s property in Dubai was exposing that embezzlement”.

In December 2018, the Supreme Court ordered Khan to pay tax liabilities worth Rs29.5 million as determined by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Earlier, CJP Nisar took suo motu notice of Aleema’s property in Dubai on November 28. Following this, Aleema deposited half of the total cost of her previously undeclared Dubai property with tax authorities as a penalty.

Aleema had paid 25 per cent of the total estimated amount of her luxurious flat, “The Lofts East-1406”, in taxes and 25 per cent fine charges. The prime minister’s sister was slapped with a double penalty (taxes and fine) because she did not disclose the property worth around Rs74 million.

Aleema, in her affidavit submitted with FIA, stated: “The Lofts East:1460 was paid for from funds generated from my business dealings overseas. Further, I have already disposed of my property and have also informed the FBR about the purchase and sale of the said property.”

On October 27, FIA had submitted in the Supreme Court (SC) the details of 44 close relatives of prominent political personalities who owned properties in the UAE.

Following this, the court was informed that further investigations have been recommended by the FBR against 14 out of 20 people.

Earlier, the FBR had informed the SC that Aleema Khan did not benefit from a tax amnesty scheme on a flat in Dubai.

Appearing before a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Lahore Commissioner Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan had submitted that media reports of Aleema Khan taking the amnesty were incorrect.

The SC had asked the FBR to provide the court with Aleema’s tax details in a sealed envelope after a tax official claimed that the PM’s sister had benefited from the amnesty scheme and thus her tax information was confidential.

The court has taken up a case against 44 ‘politically exposed individuals’ or their benamidars who possessed properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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