The “illegal and unjustified” disclosure of the tax returns of the family of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was brought to the attention of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday.
The finance ministry issued a statement a day after an investigative news website, FactFocus, reported that the COAS’ family had accumulated billions of rupees in the last six years, allegedly citing tax returns and wealth statements. “This is certainly a violation of the whole confidentiality of tax information that the law provides,” the statement continued.
The handout stated that the finance minister had instructed Tariq Mehmood Pasha, the SAPM on Revenue, to personally lead an immediate investigation into the violation of tax laws and breach of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data, assign responsibility, and submit a report within 24 hours in light of this serious lapse on the part of previously unknown functionaries.
“This is certainly a violation of the whole confidentiality of tax information that the law provides,” the statement continued.
The website has previously written in-depth articles about the “misappropriation of cash” by a number of Pakistani politicians and other influential groups, including Imran Khan, the head of the PTI, and former despot General Pervez Musharraf.
The journal has published an article in 2020 regarding the suspected offshore properties and enterprises of retired Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, the former chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, and his family.
The website claimed to have audio of former chief judge Saqib Nisar ordering the conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz last year.
The estimated tax records of COAS Bajwa’s family were the subject of a FactFocus research. The report stated that the estimated market worth of the army chief’s known assets and business, both inside and outside of Pakistan, was Rs12.7 billion.
The paper also included what were allegedly Gen Bajwa and his family’s wealth statements from 2013 to 2021.
It stated that Ayesha Amjad, Gen Bajwa’s wife, increased her declared and known assets from nothing in 2016 to Rs2.2 billion over the course of six years. According to the report, the sum did not include the residential plots, commercial plots, and residences the army had granted her spouse.
The report also claimed that Mahnoor Sabir, Gen Bajwa’s daughter-in-law, disclosed assets totaled $1 million, up from $0 in the previous week.