Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday dismissed the allegations leveled by PTI Chief Imran Khan that he had transferred $4 million to his son in Dubai.
“I regret to note your statement that I had allegedly transferred $4 million to my son in Dubai to avoid taxes in Pakistan and that I am dragging my feet on signing Tax Avoidance Treaty with the Swiss authorities to bring back the ill-gotten money to Pakistan. I must say your statement is totally fallacious, highly preposterous, nothing but a figment of your imagination and prima facie tainted with mala fide,” the Finance Minister said in a letter written to Imran Khan.
Ishaq Dar further said, “I have never transferred to my son even a single rupee from Pakistan to Dubai. On the contrary I have in fact till date received around 4 million US dollars from my sons in Dubai, a fact which you have twisted for political mileage”.
“I had also given them around $4 million as loan which has since been fully repaid (as referred above) by them through proper banking channel, meaning that the amount reached Pakistan, adding to the forex reserves of the country. Being a family transaction, with no nexus with any tax implication in Pakistan or Dubai, it is unfortunate that this transaction has been dragged in public domain to raise unsubstantiated allegations against me who pays his taxes regularly and faithfully,” the Finance Minister said in the letter.
He clarified that he has been regularly depositing his returns with the tax authorities and details of all his assets have been regularly reported in his annual returns of “statement of assets and liabilities” with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“Your statement, therefore, is not only false and fabricated but also has no nexus whatsoever with verifiable facts and public record,” he added.
“The present democratically elected Government is committed to get access to information from Switzerland and details of deposits of Pakistanis in its Banks. The Government of Pakistan has a Tax Treaty with Switzerland and as per Article 25 of the said treaty, information may be obtained from its government on case to case basis. However, Switzerland is not bound to provide information which is in possession of their banks and financial institutions covered under their bank secrecy laws,” Dar further remarked.
“Feeling the need for developing instruments for better access to information, FBR on 11th October 2012 requested the then Finance Minister for approval to renegotiate the existing tax treaty. However, the required approval was not granted. On assumption of office by me as Finance Minister, I restarted the process, obtained Cabinet approval and the formalities for renegotiating the treaty were completed. Thereafter, negotiations were started by FBR to revise the existing treaty in August 2014. First round of negotiations has been completed and currently FBR’s request for 2nd round is pending with Swiss authorities. As and when our proposed amendments are agreed to by the two countries, Switzerland will be obliged to provide information about banks and financial institutions irrespective of banks’ secrecy laws on a case to case basis”.
At the end, the Finance Minister reiterated that he would welcome any suggestion and assistance from PTI to facilitate and expedite the legal processes to retrieve the ill-gotten money, from any foreign bank, which actually belongs to the people of Pakistan.