ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has openly admitted to drawing a monthly salary of more than Rs1.40 million from a UAE-based firm.
Documents show the PML-N minister, who is tipped to be the interim premier in case Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is sent packing by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, works as a “Management Consultant” in an Abu Dhabi-based firm and draws a monthly salary of AED50, 000 for his services.
A copy of Khawaja Asif’s contract letter obtained from the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is available with Daily Pakistan.
Asif, who is close to Sharif family, also had his UAE labour card renewed on June 29, 2017, valid till June 28, 2019.
Overall, the minister has held three iqamas during different periods.
One from 2007 to 2010, the second from 2010 to 2011, and the third for further six months.
But Asif says the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue were aware of his iqamas. He added that he had a bank account in Abu Dhabi since 1984 and he used that channel to receive money.
“I have been receiving the funds from proper banking channels since 1983,” Asif said while responding to allegations of Usman Dar, a PTI leader who lost the 2013 General Elections to Asif in the NA-110 constituency.
سیالکوٹ کا درباری خواجہ بھی اقامے والا نکلا۔ ہور اقامے لوّوٗ؟ 😉 pic.twitter.com/ghxZY4jtL3
— Usman Dar (@UdarOfficial) July 25, 2017
Dar had demanded Asif’s disqualification under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution saying that the minister was an employee of a company in Dubai and he had not informed the ECP about his income from that source. He also claimed that Asif had benefited that company by engaging it in various projects in Pakistan.
Khawaja Asif is the third PML-N leader, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who has been found holding iqamas for UAE and Saudi Arabia.