Story by The News International
ISLAMABAD: Contrary to his claim that though he didn’t declare his offshore company but declared the London flat owned by it, the PTI chief Imran Khan in fact never declared his flat from 1983 (the year of purchase) to 2000 in his wealth statements and only declared it under General Musharraf’s ‘Whitening of Black Money Scheme’ (Tax Amnesty Scheme 2000) in the financial year 2001.
Never declared the flat in wealth statements for 17 years; declared his income at Rs97,334 for the year 1983-84 but purchased London flat for GBP110,000 (Rs2,438,000) in 1983
While declaring his flat in income tax returns for the financial year 2001, Imran Khan, who has always been a vocal opponent of whitening of black money schemes, formally admitted in his wealth statement that he was declaring his London flat under the Tax Amnesty Scheme 2000 (TAS 2000). Imran, who started his international cricket career in 1971, started filing income tax returns in 1982 and started filing wealth statements along with his tax returns from the year 1989. In all his wealth statements from 1989 to 2000, Imran Khan declared all his assets including his houses, plots and agricultural lands but never declared his London flat, which he had purchased in 1983. Imran Khan has never declared his offshore company Niazi Services Limited of Jersey, Channel Islands, in any of his returns of wealth statements though he mentioned his shares and investments in other local companies.
According to tax experts, by not declaring his London flat for 17 years (1983 to 2000) and only declaring it by taking advantage of tax amnesty scheme, the PTI chief had in fact formally admitted that he was hiding his London asset and offshore company.
Imran Khan declared his income at Rs36,634 for the year 1981-82, Rs35,104 for the year 1982-83 and Rs97,334 for the year 1983-84 but he managed to purchase Flat 2, 165 Draycott Avenue, South Kensington, London for GBP 110,000. The British Pound exchange to Pak Rupee exchange rate at that time was Rs22.17 which means he paid Rs2,438,000. However, while taking advantage of whitening of black money scheme, Imran declared cost of his flat at Rs2,000,000. He was to pay 11 to 14 percent tax on cost of flat to make it legal depending in which month August, September, October or November of year 2000 he was declaring it.
On being contacted by The News, Naeemul Haq, spokesman for the PTI chairman, responded, “Sorry, we have decided not to cooperate with Jang/News Group anymore.” This correspondent tried till late night to contact any senior PTI leader to take his view. A PTI leader on the condition of not being named told this correspondent that it was wrong to say that Imran availed whitening of black money scheme. And even if it is correct, it was his right to avail such a scheme.
When The News contacted Yusaf Ali Chaudhry, tax lawyer of the PTI chief, who issued a statement about tax history of Imran Khan four days back and volunteered to respond to any queries, responded, “It is true that the PTI chief Imran Khan declared his London flat for the first time in 2001 as submitting assets statements was not a requirement before that”. When asked, if the PTI chief was submitting his wealth statements since 1989 and was declaring all his assets in Pakistan except his London flat, Yousaf argued that declaring foreign assets or companies was not mandatory and this is why Sharif family hasn’t declared any of their foreign assets or businesses in Pakistan.
The political leaders in the developed democracies have to pass through strict scrutiny and any such concealment in assets can destroy their career. On surfacing of any such irregularity regarding any political leader, people in Western democracies believe that the one who is not clear and transparent in his own personal financial affairs could never run affairs of the state honestly.