Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday took “serious notice” of the “illegal and unwarranted leakage” of the tax data of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s family, and directed an immediate probe into the violation of tax law.
Describing the leakage of the data as “clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information” under law, the Finance Division said the minister had directed the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to “personally lead an immediate investigation” into the matter. Stressing that a report should be submitted within 24 hours, it said the probe would fix responsibility on the culprits responsible for violating the law and breaching confidential data of the Federal Board of Revenue.
The finance minister’s directives come a day after web portal FactFocus published a story containing the tax information of family members of the Army chief. In the report, authored by journalist Ahmad Noorani, the publication has cited the tax information of Gen. Bajwa’s daughter-in-law and his wife, the current market value of the known assets and businesses of the family that had been accumulated over the past six years—during Bajwa’s tenure as COAS—stood at Rs. 12.7 billion.
The report, which has been blocked from access by local internet service providers, claims that Gen. Bajwa’s wife, Ayesha Amjad, had declared in her 2016 tax returns that the value of her assets in 2015 had been zero. By contrast, it said, her 2021 tax returns had valued her total assets at Rs. 2.2 billion.
Similarly, alleges the report, the COAS’ daughter-in-law Mahnoor Sabir had seen the value of her assets increase from “zero in the last week of October 2018” to “more than one billion” just a week before her marriage on Nov. 2, 2018.
According to the report, Gen. Bajwa’s family also started several joint business ventures with Sabir “Mithu” Hameed of Lahore—Mahnoor’s father—with the latter subsequently transferring capital outside Pakistan and purchasing properties abroad.