- Details about their assets based on assumptions, says the military's media wing
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday rejected claims being made on social media regarding the assets of outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family, saying the reports in this regard were “based on blatant lies”.
The military's media wing said details about their assets were based on assumptions, adding that a "specific group has cunningly attributed the assets held by the father of Gen Bajwa’s daughter-in-law to the Army Chief and his family".
“An incorrect impression is being created that these assets were created by army chief General Bajwa's family during his six-year tenure. It is totally untrue, based on blatant lies and malice,” said the ISPR.
The military’s media wing assured that all the assets of the army chief, his wife, and his family have been declared to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
“Army chief and his family regularly file tax returns. Like every citizen, the army chief and his family are accountable to the tax authorities for their assets,” said the ISPR.
Earlier, a report published by FactFocus.com, a Pakistan-based digital media news organisation, claimed members of COAS Bajwa’s immediate family including spouse and children “started a new international business, shifted capital abroad, and bought foreign properties”.
The report, which claimed to have in possession the COAS’s tax records, alleged that Gen Bajwa’s spouse “became a multi-billionaire with large farmhouses in Gulberg Greens Islamabad and Karachi, multiple residential plots in Lahore, and commercial plots and plazas in DHA schemes”.
The report further claimed that “the General’s family started an oil business in 2018, Taxx Pakistan, headquartered in Dubai and expanded all over Pakistan within a few months”.
The report alleged that the “current market value of the - known - assets and businesses within Pakistan and outside accumulated by the Bajwa family during the last six years is more than Rs12.7 billion”.
After COAS Bajwa's tax details surfaced in the media, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar took serious notice, saying: “This is clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the Law provides."
“In view of this serious lapse on the part of to-date unknown functionaries the finance minister has directed Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to personally lead an immediate investigation into the violation of tax law and breach of FBR data, affix responsibility and submit a report within twenty-four hours," the ministry of finance said.
The FBR on Saturday included three more income tax officers in the investigation of leaked tax record details of Gen Bajwa and his family.
Sources said the FBR will carry out an investigation from the chief commissioner, commissioner, and additional commissioner in connection with the leaked tax record details.
These three officers will also be removed from their posts as they are equally responsible for the leakage of these tax details, sources added.
The leaked tax details were downloaded from the deputy commissioner Lahore’s login and then pictures were captured from the deputy commissioner’s computer, sources said.