Thursday June 20, 2024

What made Aleema earn embarrassment

By Ahmad Noorani
January 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The members of Aleema Khan’s family finally admitted that New Jersey property in the name PM Imran Khan’s sister was declared for the first time under whitening of black money scheme, the ‘Tax Amnesty Scheme 2018’, a fact confirmed to The News by the tax authorities of Pakistan a few months back.

Though Aleema’s son Shahrez Khan denied any information on this count on being contacted last month, family sources admitted that Aleema Khan had to declare the property under tax amnesty scheme 2018 after hiding it for 14 years following property purchase in 2004.

After Panama Papers revelations and The News questions regarding USA, UK and UAE properties and assets sent to Aleema, she started trying to sell her foreign properties instead of responding to queries.

But she was not able to dispose of all her foreign properties and assets. New Jersey flats were jointly owned by Aleema and her business partner (partner share was 25 percent only) and the partner was not ready to sell because of a business dispute.

Aleema left with no option but to earn the embarrassment of declaring the same luxurious New Jersey property under Tax Amnesty Scheme 2018 to avoid legal action in Pakistan which was being demanded by different political parties.

According to the family sources, another problem was created when Aleema’s son Shahrez approached the ex-partner of his mother and ex-partner was also not ready to declare the property under any such amnesty scheme.

This left Aleema Khan to make partial declaration of New Jersey hidden property under money whitening scheme. Aleema made declaration after the end of PML-N government during the tenure of caretaker government. Shahrez Khan while talking to The News in December 2018 however denied to comment that he tried to contact his mother’s ex-partner to make declaration of New Jersey property under tax amnesty scheme. “I don’t know anything,” Shahrez said in response to The News queries.

Aleema Khan until Friday had admitted only one foreign property in UAE. As Aleema succeeded in selling her UAE property, she avoided declaring it under money whitening scheme. However, the money earned by her by selling the UAE property was also an asset and needed to be accounted for. However, after disposing of her foreign properties, she avoided mentioning them or related assets in her tax papers considering they were past and closed transaction. She declared her properties in Pakistan and money in some bank accounts.

As tax declarations of Aleema Khan and businesses remained registered in Aleema’s name or in the name of the members of her family after the year 2000 show insufficient income to purchase such lucrative foreign properties so serious investigation by some JIT are needed to trace the money trail of these properties.

Aleema never responded to The News queries but her son Shahrez Khan admitted existence of New Jersey property and denied knowledge of any subsequent development on this count.

Shahrez was of the view that if anything regarding declaration of New Jersey property under tax amnesty scheme has occurred, it would be in the knowledge of her mother and he doesn’t know anything.