Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khanum has disclosed complete details of financial sources for the purchase of properties abroad.
Khanum, through her counsel Salman Akram Raja, issued a written statement on Friday, in which she stated that sources of her income and assets have nothing to do with any “charities with which she or any of her siblings is associated”.
Any suggestion to the contrary was only baseless speculation and she reserved all her legal rights, she added.
Opposition parties, including PML-N and PPP, have alleged that the prime minister’s sister bought illegal property using Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) funds. According to PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb, her sources of earning are the board of the NUML University and fundraising for Shaukat Khanum hospital.
In her statement issued today, Khanum revealed four income sources for the purchase of foreign properties as financing of foreign properties had taken place through the sale of property owned in Pakistan, including property owned/inherited by her husband and remission of funds from Pakistan through banking channels.
“Likewise, earnings of the company in which our client [Khanum] holds 50 per cent interest that was engaged in the business of export facilitation of textile products from Pakistan,” her lawyer said.
“Part of the foreign earnings of this company was allowed by the applicable law to be retained overseas,” read the statement about second source of purchasing foreign properties.
It is also contended that Khanum had transferred the funds through banking channels out of her clients’ business income. Likewise, she availed bank loans against mortgages overseas.
“The total equity (non-loan) investment made by our client or her husband in the purchase of properties outside Pakistan was not more than Rs7.25 crores spread over several years. The sources identified above fully covered this investment,” the lawyer said in the statement.
Regarding the allegation of tax evasion, the statement read that the rate of tax applicable under the laws of Pakistan to the exports based receipts of the company in which she holds a 50 per cent interest was between 0.5 per cent and 1.00 per cent at all relevant times
“Our client has partially paid and is in the process of paying fully the tax assessed and demanded with respect to her assets,” the statement further added.
In December 2018, the Supreme Court ordered Khanum to pay tax liabilities worth Rs29.4 million as determined by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
In an affidavit submitted to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Khanum had already revealed that she owned a piece of property — namely Lofts East 1406 — in Dubai and that the funds generated from her business dealing overseas were used to pay for it. To the query from the bench, Khanum said that she purchased the property worth $370,000 in 2008 with a 50% bank mortgage but sold it in 2017.