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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Govt identifies culprits behind leak of COAS Bajwa’s tax records

Sharing further details, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that one person involved in the leak of COAS Bajwa's tax records belonged to Lahore and another from Rawalpindi.

In a major development, the government has identified the main culprits behind the startling leak of the tax records of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and his family. This was revealed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during a talk show for a private media channel.

Speaking on the talk show, Ishaq Dar said the leak of income tax returns of the army chief’s family was “illegal” and he himself had seen the interim probe report. Sharing further details, Ishaq Dar said that one person involved in the leak belonged to Lahore and another from Rawalpindi.

Read more: FM Ishaq Dar orders investigation into leak of COAS Bajwa’s family tax records

However, the Finance Minister also said that there is a possibility that some of the individuals involved may have the authorization to look at the income tax records as there was a circle in Rawalpindi where assessments take place.

“The law does not allow the release of the army chief or anyone else’s income tax returns without a court order,” said the finance minister.

Earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ordered an investigation into a report which leaked the tax records of COAS Bajwa and his family. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar directed the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to personally lead the probe, affix responsibility, and submit a report.

COAS Bajwa’s tax records leaked

The report by FactFocus claimed that the current market value of the known assets and business of the army chief, both within and outside Pakistan, amounted to Rs12.7 billion.

The report also shared the alleged wealth statements of Gen Bajwa and his family from 2013 to 2021. It claimed that the assets of Gen Bajwa’s wife, Ayesha Amjad, went from zero in 2016 to Rs2.2 billion (declared and known) in six years. The report stated the amount didn’t include residential plots, commercial plots and houses given by the army to her husband.

The report also alleged that the total worth of the declared assets of Mahnoor Sabir (Gen Bajwa’s daughter-in-law ) jumped from zero in the last week of October 2018 to Rs1,271 million on Nov 2, 2018, while the assets of Mahnoor’s sister Hamna Naseer went from zero in 2016 to “billions” by 2017.

Read more: COAS Bajwa awarded “Order of the Union Medal” by UAE

Furthermore, the tax returns of Sabir Hameed — the army chief’s son’s father-in-law — were less than a million in 2013 but “in the coming years, he became a billionaire”, the website claimed.