ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday directed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz to explain how he earned $1.9 million which he “remitted to his father as a gift in 2011”.
Earlier, the prime minister’s counsel, Makhdoom Ali Khan, told the court that Nawaz had received a gift of $1.9 million from his son which was non-taxable. To this, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said, “There are two aspects of the case — first is tax evasion and the second is money laundering.”
In his remarks, Justice Khosa said it has been observed that people illegally sent money abroad and later some of it was remitted back in the country. He went on to say that now, the premier’s son has to provide the money trail of the amount which he remitted to his father.The judge was referring to agricultural land spread over 5.38 acres in Mansehra district, which is worth Rs243m. The land was declared under Maryam Nawaz’s name by the prime minister in his 2011-12 income tax returns.
“This property was not benami, was it?” asked Justice Gulzar Ahmed, referring to the agricultural land. “Why did Hussain Nawaz only give gifts to his father?” Justice Ijazul Hassan asked.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the court wanted to see the account number of PM wherein he received money from his son. Justice Gulzar Ahmad also questioned why the gift money was not reflected in the prime minister’s wealth statement. During the hearing, the court also put forth an inquiry regarding the Azizia Steel Mills in Jeddah.
The focus remained on how money received from the sale of the mills was transferred to Pakistan. “One aspect of the case is concerned with money laundering. The accusation is that the amount was sent abroad through unlawful means,” Justice Khosa observed.
“You will have to give details as to how the amount was transferred,” the judge told Makhdoom Khan. In response, the counsel told the court that the amount was sent by Hussain Nawaz from Saudi Arabia in 2010. “Other than this, what other business does Hussain Nawaz have in Saudi Arabia?” Justice Ijaz asked.
PM’s counsel said that Maryam Nawaz is not dependent of Nawaz Sharif. He said exchange of gifts and money between the premier and his children took place through proper channel. The SC has adjourned the case until today (Thursday).