By Irum Saleem
With Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s claim that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has traced the identities of the people who had leaked the tax records of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s family members, suspicion is raised who is actually leaked his data to a PMLN pro journalist Ahmad Noorani.
Noorani is settled in the US and it is widely believed that he has a support of the PMLN top circles.
In his website FactFocus — Noorani accused Gen Bajwa and his family of amassing assets worth Rs12.7 billion over the past six years.
The report cited tax records and wealth statements of the Bajwa family to corroborate its claims about the alleged accumulation of assets by the family inside and outside Pakistan.
Taking a notice of the FactFocus report, Dar on Monday had said that the leak was “clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides”.
On Tuesday Dar confirmed finding traces behind the leak. “One culprit is from Lahore and one is from Rawalpindi,” Ishaq Dar said.
Quoting the FactFocus report regarding the alleged tax records of COAS Bajwa’s family, Dawn writes 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 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. 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.
According to the publication, it was unable to obtain data about assets in the name of Gen Bajwa’s two sons.
FactFocus had later claimed that after the publication of the story, the traffic on its site was “disrupted” while also claiming that the website had been “banned”.
The website has previously published in-depth stories on the “misappropriation of funds” by a number of politicians and other powerful sectors in Pakistan, including PTI chairman Imran Khan and former dictator General Pervez Musharraf.
In 2020, the publication had released a report regarding the alleged offshore properties and businesses of former China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority chairman Lt-Gen retired Asim Saleem Bajwa and his family.
Although the PMLN led coalition government acted swiftly but sources say no body in the powerful circles is ready to believe that there is no hand of the PMLN or the Sharifs in it.
بہت اعلی 👏🏼👏🏼— Sana Bajwa (القدس في العيون) (@SanaBajwa11) November 22, 2022
“اگر وزیراعظم پاکستان کے پاس اتنا اختیار بھی نہیں کہ وہ گریٹ 22 کا ایک آفیسر nominate کر سکے تو کونسی جمہوریت کونسی سویلین بالادستی؟” pic.twitter.com/SkAFvRhkKs
#انقلاب_عمران_کے_سنگ#قاتل_نوازشریف_کوگرفتارکرو— 🇯🇴🇰🇪🇷 🔥🔥 (@Joker__huyaar) November 22, 2022
"Gen Faiz Hameed"#BajwaDoctrine#بندیال_صاحب_انصاف_کریں #حقیقی_آزادی_فائنل_مارچ
If we don't break the chain of slavery , we will become slave for all life pic.twitter.com/CGJW0NwzjR
Things are getting more complexed in the corruption saga. PAK DESTINY