Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf secretary general and political stalwart Jahangir Tareen used the ‘Gift’ method to exchange  Rs1,647 million between his family members during a five-year period.

According to a report by The News, Tareen disbursed the 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.

Although the transactions might be legally justifiable but what mars the reputation of law maker 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 amid Panama case hearing.

Tareen while responding to the allegations reaffirmed that there was nothing wrong in those transactions.

‘I have one of the best records as a taxpayer and all my records regarding gifts to the family and vice versa are furnished in the tax statement. I have nothing to hide as I always do legal transactions,’ said Jehangir Khan Tareen.

He termed the transactions legal adding that his children set up independent business.

‘It’s a normal thing to transact such gifts under the Pakistani law. All these gifts are duly mentioned and explained in the tax records of mine as well as my children who run independent businesses,’ Tareen asserted.

He was also asked about the moral aspect of these transactions as the method is ostensibly opted to avoid tax but to this he replied that he did not believe in tax evasion, and his tax returns were enough to endorse his clean fincancial background.

Regarding the juxtaposition between his transactions and the tranactions done by Sharif family under scrutiny by the apex court, Tareen opined that there was hell of a difference between the two.

‘Questions are being asked whether Sharifs used these transactions to whiten their money from abroad. I just want to point out, and this question should be asked from the Sharifs that why don’t they pay dividends to shareholders in the case of the two sugar mills, Chaudhry and Ramzan Sugar mills? That is just to conceal profits. While I pay all the dividends to shareholders of my mills, JDW,’ he added.

PTI supremo Imran Khan and his affiliates keep beating drums regarding the transacted gifts between the ruling Sharif family but his own party member Jahangir Tareen somewhat harnessed the same legal loophole.

Imran Khan in Sheikh Rasheed style also mocked Sharif family for the same, a few days ago:

Interestingly, after the Panama Leaks documents were revealed, Imran termed setting up offshore companies, a dishonest discourse to stash away money outside Pakistan but to many it came as a shocking revelation that he himself benefited from the same offshore firm when he was entertaining audience in grounds through his cricket.

The reason put forth by the PTI supremo was that he was not a British national and so he set up offshore firm in a bid to avoid tax.

In the case of Tareen, Tax officials on condition of anonymity confirm that his tax returns were well documented and scrutinised however, his financial transactions (through gifts) could be further scrutinised depending on official orders from competent authority.

In the case of Jehangir Khan Tareen (JKT) as mentioned in his wealth statements from 2009-13, he gifted Rs72.8 million to his son Ali Khan Tareen (tax year 2009) and children gifted back a sum of Rs45.6 million to their father.

In 2010, as per tax documents, Tareen’s children gifted Rs63.5 million to their father JKT. And his wife Amina Tareen gifted Rs7 million to her son Ali Tareen.

Then in 2011 JKT gave gifts to the tune of Rs867.4 million to an unknown recipient. His children gifted Rs91.5 million to another unknown personnel and his wife, Amina Tareen, gifted Rs54 million to another unknown individual. Unknown apparently means not mentioned in statements.

In 2012, JKT gifted Rs129.9 million to (not mentioned). His wife, Amina Tareen, gifted Rs27.9 million to (not mentioned). His children gifted Rs153 million to (not mentioned).

In 2013 JKT gifted Rs29.9 million to (not mentioned). Children gifted Rs104.8 million to (not mentioned.)

Although Tareen refuted any wrongdoings pertaining to these transactions and claimed mentioning all these in his subsequent wealth statements, even then the question of morality looms over the credibility of law maker and his party stirring much hullabaloo over the same transactions executed by ruling Sharif family.

Another controversy that surrounds the wealthy Jahangir Tareen is his alleged payment of Rs. 70 million to Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for violating its rules and regulations as claimed by State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman.

Anusha expressed that Jahangir Khan Tareen was involved in inside trading scam and SECP had issued a show cause notice to him which he admitted and paid the fine.

Reflecting the allegations hurled at him, Tareen said that he had received a letter not a notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

Inside trading is the trading of a public company’s stock or other securities (such as bonds or stock options) by individuals with access to confidential nonpublic information about the company. The access to secret information for some individuals creates an imbalance as the investor with insider information could potentially make far larger profits that a typical investor could not make.

All this can draw the ire of PTI supremo but he would be left with no other option than to say:

‘You too, Brutus!’