ISLAMABAD – Vice chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and member of National Assembly Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been using the ‘Gift’ method to exchange millions of rupees and agricultural lands between his family members.

Although the transactions might be legally justifiable but what mars the reputation of lawmaker is the moral aspect of the story as his party slammed the ruling Sharif family for the same technique when Hussain Nawaz gifted as much as Rs. 510 million to his father, as revealed in the Panama case hearing.

Responding to the allegations, Qureshi said the transaction is nothing out of ordinary. “We gift the farmlands to family members to keep it within the family spheres, there is nothing illegal in it,” adding there was a huge difference between massive cash transactions in the shape of gifts circulated within a family that was used by influential people, and distributing farmland to the members of the family. Qureshi said he and the members of his family paid due taxes on the farmlands and properties, and there was nothing wrong or doubtful about it.

Asked about party chief’s stance on the issue, he said “in the case of Sharif family, such gifts were being scrutinised as the money trail from abroad was doubtful, but I and my family have paid all the taxes. So there is nothing wrong with it.”

Asked why his son Zain Hussain Qureshi (NTN 3052682-5) paid zero tax from 2013-15, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said it could have been because he had left the job he was doing earlier.

According to the News, Mr Qureshi’s statement on oath submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan states he has gifted property and agriculture land worth Rs13.56 million in the name of his son, Zain Qureshi. Another Rs1.45 million worth property and agricultural land gifted to his wife, Rs1.347 million to his daughter, Mehar Bano Qureshi and another Rs1.149 million worth agricultural land in the name of his daughter Gohar Bano Qureshi. Details are as follows: House No 444, Daulat Gate, Multan gifted to his son Zain Qureshi. Around 351 kanals of agriculture land in the name of his wife, Mehrine Qureshi located in Chak No 2 Tarpal, tehsil and district Multan. Another peace of 6 marla land in Taj Bagh, Tajpura, Lahore gifted in the name of his wife and 982 kanals in the name of son Makhdoomzada Zain Hussain Qureshi in the same area. Gifted another 53 kanal of agriculture land in the name of his son Zain Qureshi located in Mouza Saleh Mahey, 554 kanals in Tarpal area Multa in the name of his daughter Ms Mehar Bano Qureshi, another 32 kanal peace of land in the name of his daughter Mehar Bano Qureshi located in Mouza Bahuwala, another 511 kanals located in Chak No 2 Tarpal, Multan, gifted to his daughter Gohar Bano Qureshi.

From 2010 till 2012 Shah Mehmood Qureshi and family paid Rs89,050 as agricultural income tax for each year, the same for three years in a row.

Interestingly, Shah Mehmood Qureshi didn’t declare the value of non-agricultural and agricultural property in his wealth statement for the year 2012, and declared zero cash in hand in wealth statement of year 2012. Mr Qureshi however paid an amount of Rs864,148 as income tax in year 2012.

Earlier, Jahangir Tareen was also found to be using the ‘Gift’ method to exchange  Rs1,647 million between his family members during a five-year period.

Tareen disbursed a hefty amount between 2009 to 2013 in flagrant contradiction with what his party chief Imran Khan denounces. However, he mentioned all this in his wealth statements.