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Archive for category NAWAZ SHARIF LOAN SCAM

Disastrous decade of democracy sorry state of the state-Al Pakistan by Simon Templar

Disastrous decade of democracy sorry state of the state-Al Pakistan

by

Simon Templar

Thug life is a term used by gangsters to glorify their law breaking,heady crime sprees.

Nothing describes the misrule of two successive, so called democratically elected governments in the unstable, underdeveloped 200 million strong south Asian state of Pakistan.

How thieves, plunderers and freebooters came to rule this nuclear armed state is a sad tale in itself.

Ruled by military General Pervez Musharraf who took over in a military coup in 1999, the country became a close US ally after 9/11 and witnessed an era of growth and stability under military rule.

However when Musharaf reached his limits of flexibility, it was decided by the US and British to force him bring back the two tainted, condemned political leaders in exile and to wash away all their sins under a dubious order in the name of national reconciliation.

As in the Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, there was also a hungry, eager, more flexible General waiting in the Wings to replace him, and Deputy Chief Kayani used Military intelligence and a judges restoration movement to cripple the erstwhile strongman, now out of favor with the US.

A final thumbs down from the US Ambassador compelled Musharraf to resign and after the mysterious, unsolved murder of Benazir Bhutto, her thuggish husband, the upstart, criminal uneducated, corrupt and much reviled Asif Zardari came to power.

The deal with the West was that we bring you back, wash away your past sins and you squeeze the Army.

The game began and new Chief Kayani turned a blind eye, as he had brought the devil to sup at the table and was also busy improving his impoverished families financial condition.

So well did this team work that General Kayani got an unprecedented 3 year second term, Zardari became a billionaire, Kayani from rags to millionaire and the country went to the dogs.

The US with its two boys in place, in charge of the Presidency and military, violated Pakistani sovereignty and physical boundaries at will, using drones, choppers, covert assassin’s and whatever they chose.

As per the unholy charter of kleptocracy, Sharif kept silent during Zardari’s plunder and he returned the favor after Sharif took over in 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple math, over invoice $ 50 billion of Chinese funded projects-whether needed or not- by ten percent, sign sovereign guarantees, leave future generations to pay off horrifying debts and pocket 5% off the top!

Walk away with a cool $ 2.5 billion dollars.Astonishingly simple as it is audacious.

Where Zardari was a street thug, looting millions, for ing neighbors to sell their properties on the cheap, the plunderers from Punjab, whose father made pots and cooking utensils with his bare hands are now certified dollar billionaires thanks to massive bank defaults,and international cuts commissions and kickbacks.

Wow! Wonderful, just one mistake…Sharif, egged on by vicious anti military Advisers like Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatimi, kept on targeting the by now restive and powerful Pakistan military.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leakage of information pertaining to thousands of offshore companies incorporated in Panama signalled the end for the strangely absent Sharif regime.

Perhaps the most corrupt and worse administered government in the history of Pakistan..certainly the most hypocritical.

Destroying the civil service structure, promoting nepotism, turning state servants especially in the Punjab into glorified pimps and facilitators.

 

Nawaz Sharif ‘s Well Hidden Taliban Connection-Taliban did Nawaz Sharif’s Dirty Work-While, US looked the Other Way-Rana Sanaulla, Nawaz Sharif’s  Killer Interior Minister Connected to Punjabi Taliban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One poor martied lady was famously peddled by her husband out to Sharif, then his younger brother and in turn was rewarded with top administrative positions for his immoral shamelessness.

Functioning without statutory, mandated positions such as State Ombudsman, National Tax Collector, Head of the Audit Service and even without the Governor of the State Bank.

Burgeoning debt,increasingly hostile borders, declining exports, a dysfunctional government, falling stock market and collapsing currency could not shake Sharif out of his stupor.

On the ropes, with his family corruption the main story in every paper, every channel and on social media, he chose to plod on shamelessly, trying one corrupt lawyer after another in a futile attempt to cover his tracks.

Described as a sicilian mafiosi by the worthy judges of the top constitutional court, Sharif scraped the bottom of the barrel, hiring the immoral Raja Salman Akram, known to have defended Zardaris drug dealing Prime Minister, all to no avail.

Functioning without a Foreign minister for four years, and appointing idiots as top envoys, the joke is on Sharif as he is now left with no friends to bail him out as before.

His Saudi patrons distanced themselves from their pet poodle after Sharif was unable to prevail upon his military who very sensibly refused to go and fight alongside Saudi troops in Yemen.

Indians and Americans have realised he cannot dominate his military and the Turks and Chinese know him and his tribe as crooked, slimy money grabbers.

Despite holding office for years, Sharif has paid no attention to healthcare, education, rule of law or job creation, focusing purely on shady, unnecessary projects providing easy kickbacks.

Now decades of money laundering, defaulted bank loans and millions in off shore accounts and overseas properties stand to be exposed for what they are, the loot and plunder from 190 million poor uneducated helpless souls who are forced to sell or kill their children due to lack of justice, poverty and a gloomy future.

The question is how will things unfold? Will the shameless, immoral, hypocritical kleptocrats escape yet again to lick their wounds and enjoy their boots abroad or shall they deservedly meet the fate of another erstwhile billionaire, the late unlamented Colonel Qaddafi who died bloodied and screaming in the street as his engeful subjects beat him to death?

The author is a geostrategist based in Brussels.

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Ishaq Dar’s confessional statement

To 
The Chairman NAB
20 April 2000

Subject: Tender of Pardon

Dear sir

I the undersigned want to make full disclosure of the true and full facts relating to the case of Hudabiya Paper Mills case wherein I have been cited as one of the accused person. My detailed statement of facts, circumstances and events etc leading to accumulation of Rs 642 million in the accounts of Hudabiya Paper Mills Ltd is enclosed herewith for your kind perusal and consideration.

I have unburdened my concious and stated the true facts in the enclosed statement. It is therefore requested that I may please be granted pardon on the basis of this disclosure.

Thanking you in anticiptation

Yours truly

Ishaq Dar
7-H Gulberg 3
Presently at Police lock up at Chamba House Lahore
20 April 2000

Statement of Mohammad Ishaq Dar on oath dated 25 April 2000

I was born in a middle class family in 1950. I passed my intermdeiate in 1966 and then B.Com in 1970 after which I proceeded to UK to pass my Chartered Accountancy. During my stay in London I stayed with Masood Ahmed Kazi  and his family in Ilford. In 1976 I proceeded to Libya where I worked as senior auditor. I was married in 1976. Financial status of mu in-laws was also that of middle class. In 1977 I came back to Pakistan and joined a Chartered Accountancy company. 

From 1982 to 1992, besides my job activities I remained actively associated with the activities of Institute of Chartered Accountants as well as Lahore Chamber of Commerce. In the year 1987-88 I was member of Finance and Taxation Committee of LCCI. Around same period Mian Shehbaz Sharif was President of LCCI. I pointed out serious weaknesses in the national budget announced by Junejo Govt for the year 1987-88 which resulted in revision of the budget. This gave me national recogonition. Next year I was again consulted and my suggestions were incorporated in the budget.

In 1990, I planned to set up a Modaraba company in the name of First Hajvery and started completing its paperwork. The company was set up in 1991 with paid up capital of Rs 150 million. Within 6 monthswe succeeded in attracting customers like Sharif Group, Crecent Group and Saigol Group.

My stay with the family of Masood Ahmed Qazi in London had been a pleasant one. They belonged to a middle class family and he used to treat me as one of his family members. The family comprised of Sikandra Masood Qazi (wife), Gohar Masood Qazi (son), Mazhar Masood Qazi (son), Kashif Masood Qazi (son) Talat Masood Qazi (son). As far as their financial status in the year 1992 is concerned, there was no significant improvement in their previous status of 1970s. The family offered tution services and some family members were running a garment store.

Mian Nawaz Sharif was my batch mate at Govt College during 1964 to 66. However we had no intimacy at that time. As by the year 1990 I had not only succeeded in getting my professional skills recogonized but also was associated with activities of LCCI and Mian Shehbaz Sharif was former President of LCCI, we soon came closer.

In December 1990, Qazi family was visiting Pakistan. As Mr Masood Qazi was interested in politics and used to introduce himself as a Muslim Leauger, I invited them to the annual function of LCCI which was to be chaired by Mian Nawaz Sharif, the then PM of Pakistan. In this function I introduced the Qazis to Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shehbaz Sharif. 

In early 1992, Mian Nawaz Sharif who was then PM contacted me and requested to provide credit line of approximately Rs 100 million to the buisness concerns of his family from my Modaraba. I enquired from him about the collateral against this credit line. He informed me that he will 

provide foriegn currency funds as collateral. Subsequently he sent me photocopies of the passports of Mrs Sikandra Qazi, Nuzhat Qazi, Talat Qazi and Kashif Qazi. He asked me to open / open coreign currency accounts in their names in different banks with the foreign currency funds provided by the Sharif family and use these funds as collateral against credit facility to be availed by the different companies of Sharif group from my Modaraba and also directly from the banks as well. The need for opening of different accounts mainly arose due to per client lending ceiling, per deposit lending limit, bank’s overall credit ceiling and per borrower credit ceiling etc.

I had reservations in opening / operating of these benamidar accounts but I was assured by Mian Nawaz Sharif that Qazis have agreed for use of their names and furthermore after the promulgation of Protection of Economic Reforms Act 1992 by his govt, all the foreign currency accounts had complete immunity against any inquiry or investigation by any department or agency. 

Resultantly I was asked by Mian Nawaz Sharif to open 4 benamidar accounts in the names of Sikandra Qazi, Talat Qazi, Nuzhat Qazi and Kashif Qazi. It was further decided that these accounts in the name of first two persons will be opened/ operated by me whereas the other two benaami accounts will be opened / operated by Naeem Mahmood, a Director of my Modaraba, under my supervision.

Accordingly I opened two foreign currency accounts in the name of Sikandra and Talat Qazi with the foreign currency funds provided by Sharif family in the Bank of America by signing as Sikandra and Talat Qazi. All the instructions issued to the bank in the name of these persons were signed by me under the instructions received from the original depositors namely Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shehbaz Sharif. Wheras the F.C Accounts of Nuzhat and Kashif Qazi were opened/ operated by Naeem Mahmood under my instructions ( based on instructions of Sharifs) by signing the same as Nuzhat Qazi and Kashif Qazi.

Besides these four F.C accounts, the previously opened F.C Account of Saeed Ahmed, a former Director of First Hajvery Modarba and a close friend of mine, and of Musa Ghani ( nephew of my wife) were also used to deposit huge foreign currency funds provided by the Sharif family to offer them as collateral to obtain different direct / indirect credit lines. It is pertinent to mention that all the instructions regarding the deposits of the Sharif family in the account of Saeed Ahmed were got executed from Mr Saeed Ahmed at the relevant time. However in order to operate the deposits in the account of Musa Ghani, I signed few instructions in the name of Musa Ghani.

The credit lines obtained by First Hajvery Modarba against these foreign currency funds of Sharif family offered as collateral were given to Sharif Group companies in Pak Rupees at cost plus small charge to cover the administrative expenses of the Hajvery modarba. The Sharif Group companies utilized full credit lines against these foreign currency collateral directly from the banks or by indirectly obtaining credit lines in Pak Rupees in the name of Hajvery modaraba, Sikandra Qazi, Hajvery Holdings, myself and Musa Ghani etc. All the credit lines in these names were ultimately passed on to the Sharif Group companies. Different other accounts were also opened / operated by me and Naeem Mahmood in the same manner in the names of Qazis as explained above in City Bank, Emirates Bank, Atlas Investment Bank and Al Towfeeq Investment Bank etc under the instructions of Sharif family.

In the last quarter of 1993, Bank of America faced credit ceiling problem and thus it arranged the transfer of these credit facilities / collateral to the Al Faiysal Investment Bank with the approval of Sharif family. All the instructions regarding the operation of F.C account of Talat Qazi were executed /supplied by me to the Al Faysal Bank. Regarding the operation of the F.C accounts of Kashif Qazi and Nuzhat Qazi at Al Faysal were executed by Naeem Mahmood under my instructions.

In early 1998,  Mian Shehbaz Sharif called a meeting at his residence which was attended by Kamal Qureshi, both Pashas and other relevant staff. I was also asked by him to participate. Mian Shehbaz Sharif told us that due to scandalization of Qazis accounts by the press, his family has decided to liquidate all the F.C funds in these accounts and bring the same back in the account of Hudabiya Paper Mills Limited as Share Deposit Money from a lady of middle east and use it to pay off all loans of Sharif Group. He gave directions to Kamal Qureshi to take all necessary steps to carry out this plan. I was asked to provide Kamal Qureshi necessary instructions for banks to get the funds in these accounts encashed. Mian Shehbaz Sharif subsequently sent a photocopy of passport of that lady which disclosed her name as Siddiqa Hashim Khadim, to me and sending the same to Kamal Qureshi for necessary action as per his directions. I handed over the same to Naeem Mahmood and also briefed him about the instructions I received from Mian Shehbaz Sharif. I asked him to contact Emirates Bank and to obtain the latest position of the loans directly / indirectly obtained from the bank by Sharif Group against the F.C funds deposited by them in the account of Mr Saeed Ahmed. I further asked him to make liaison with Kamal Qureshi for this purpose. Naeem Mahmood subsequently told me that a sum of U.S $ 3.725 million of Sharif family was existing in the account of Saeed Ahmed in Emirates Bank. He further informed me about the arrangements Kamal Qureshi was carrying out regarding the encashment of this amount according to which, with the help of bank manager, services of a money changer to provide remittances equivalent to these F.C funds from abroad as Share Deposit Money from Siddiqa Hashim Khadim, from his own sources into the accounts of Hudabiya Paper Mills were to be acquired and the proceeds of these remittances were to be transferred to accounts of First Hajvery Modarba by borrower company for settlement of loan facilities of Sharif group companies. 

Subsequently the dollars in the account of Saeed Ahmed held as collateral were to be released by the bank for onward delivery to the money changer / broker. He further informed me that in March/ April 1998, a sum of US $ 3.725 million was received in the form of telegraphic transfer in the account of Hudabiya Paper Mills and equivalent foreign currency funds were got released by the Sharif family from the account of Saeed Ahmed for delivery to the broker. Similarly the deposits in the accounts of Qazi family at Al Faysal bank was also to be off loaded by unwinding the transactions in the same manner as was done at Emirates Bank. 

Following the directions of Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Kamal Qureshi approached the bank in Karachi for making necessary arrangement whereby the deposits kept in the name of Qazi family was also to be substituted and a new name that of Siddiqa Hashim Khadim was to be introduced and shown as equity investment ( share deposit money) in Hudaibiya Paper mills limited. However, out of the said amount of $8.539 million only $2.95 million could be routed in this manner by Sharif family through Kamal Qureshi from al Faysal Bank. Thereafter F.C accounts were frozen by the Govt. Before the encashment of entire collateral could be completed, in May 1998 Pakistan’s first nuclear tests took place and foreign currency funds were frozen by the Govt. 

Resultantly the previous plan of Sharif family could not be 100 percent executed. In June 1998, Mian Shehbaz Sharif informed me that accounts in the name of Qazis amounting to $ 2.967 million and $ 2.622 million should be got converted into Pak Rupees and deposited in the account of Hudabiya Papers as Share Deposit Money from Qazis. I and Naeem Mahmood prepared necessary instructions for the banks in this behalf. Kamal Qureshi then arranged for such frozen amounts with Citibank and Al Faysal Bank to be encashed in the name of the Qazis and at a final rate of Rs 46 per and the sum of US $ 6.91 million equivalent to Pak Rs 318 million was transferred to the account of Hudabiya Papers as Share Deposit Money from Qazis.

Although the foreign currency collateral accounts were arranged by me and Naeem Mahmood as per instructions of Shahbaz Sharif for above explained facilities, the fullest involvement of the directors, management and staff of Sharif group companies had always been there as it were they who opened in all the lending financial institutions, the bank accounts of various companies of Sharif group, in whose names Pak Rupees credit lines were obtained and who also completed all the legal requirements of the banks and of Company Law in this regard.

The entire chain of transactions, starting from the deposits of foreign currency collateral, obtaining credit lines, loans for Sharif group companies including Hajvery Modarba, encashment of entire collateral in 1998 and deposit of same in Hudabiya Paper Mills as Share Deposit Money in names of Sidiiqa Hashim Khadim and Qazi family and ultimately using such Share Deposit Money to pay off the liabilities of Sharif Group companies, clearly establish the fact that all these foreign currency funds exclusively belonged to Sharif family who were the sole beneficiary of the entire arrangement and being difficult for them to account for the same, they had made all this arrangement as they could not have explained the source of these funds which ultimately landed in one of their companies. 

It is assured that I have made full disclosure of all the facts in the preceding paras pin-pointing the money laundering of the Sharif family and my role therein. In proof thereof you may obtain specimen of signatures of mine and that of Naeem Mahmood to get the veracity of my statement regarding the operation of the accounts of Qazi family testified from a Hand Writing Expert.

I solemnly declare that I have never obtained any illegal personal benefit out of these funds and the money was / is owned by the Sharif family.

Signed 

Ishaq Dar

25 -4-2000

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NASEEM ASHRAF & IQBAL ASHRAF & MUSADAK MALIK: THE CROOK BROTHERS: New NBP Chief Rewarded for Sanctioning Rs. 500 Million to Sharifs’ Brothers Sugar Mill in 1990s

 

BROTHERS MASTER CROOKS & DESTROYERS OF PAKISTAN VIA CORRUPTION:

NASEEM ASHRAF & IQBAL ASHRAF 

with

Dirty Fingers in the Cookie Jar of Every Government

New-NBP-chief-rewarded-for-sanctioning-Rs500m-to-the-Sharifs'-sugar-mill-in-1990s-salman-shahbaz-sharif-ahmed-iqbal-ashraf

By Sarmad Ali

Islamabad, Jan 28 (Pak Destiny) The Nawaz Sharif government has rewarded Syed Ahmad Iqbal Ashraf by appointing him president of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for his services – sanctioning Rs500 million loan to the Ramzan Sugar Mill of the Sharifs in 1990s.
“Ahsraf has also been given a task to settle down Rs3billion loan of Itifaq Foundry which it had taken from the NBP in the 1990s,” the sources said.
The sources said Ashraf was the regional director of NBP when he had sanctioned Rs500 million to the Sharif’s Ramzan Sugar Mill when they needed money. Salman Shahbaz had asked his uncle to appoint Ashraf.
A chartered accountant by profession, Ahmad Iqbal is a brother of Dr Nasim Ashraf, the former minister for National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) and president of Pakistan Cricket Board in General Musharraf’s government. Nasim Ashraf brought in Musadak Malik, a big time crook, whose connections with a  super power are highly suspicious. After Nasim Ashraf and Iqbal Ashraf absconded from Pakistan, they left their master-mind Musadak Malik to be an Advisor to Nawaz Sharif. This unemployed US Pharmacist, still a US Citizen has a gift of gab and can through use of this gift he wiggled his way  into Nawaz Sharif’s Cabinet as an his Advisor.
He replaced Dr Asif Brohi who had three years to reach the retirement age.
A total of 51 candidates had applied for the post. The selection was originally to be made by a high-powered commission comprising Federal Tax Ombudsman and two academicians from Agha Khan University and Lahore University of Management Sciences. – Pak Destiny

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Ruin comes when… HUZAIMA BUKHARI AND DR IKRAMUL HAQ

 

 

Ruin comes when…

By
HUZAIMA BUKHARI AND DR IKRAMUL HAQ

 

 

 

Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler-Plato in Republic Since November 1990, when Muhammad Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, the culture of loot, plunder, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering was legalised through obnoxious laws like Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992 and its likes giving a free hand to criminals that no question would be asked by tax officials and functionaries of Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) for acquiring and using dirty money. His three stints as Prime Minister and years as a minister and chief minister in the Punjab can safely be labeled as “rule of a trader” whose heart is infested with the insatiable greed of amassing wealth, expanding family-owned business empire at the expense of the national exchequer and other business houses. This fact was also noted by a judge of High Court in a reported case details of which are summarized below:

In Messrs Pak Ocean and Others v Government of Pakistan through Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Central Secretariat, Islamabad and others 2002 PTD 2850, the petitioners challenged the imposition of regulatory duty on re-meltable iron scrap, excluding bundled and shredded scrap and the reduction in the rate of duty on bundled and shredded scrap as unlawful, arbitrary, unreasonable and ultra vires Articles 4, 18, 24 and 25 of the Constitution. They contended that the said imposition of regulatory duty through Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) was aimed at making their imported scrap very expensive as compared to the imports by big businessmen in the form of bundled and shredded scrap. According to petitioners, the adverse SROs were issued “to solely benefit the owners of the furnaces who are largely imported of shredded scrap”. In the judgment, there is a direct indictment against the House of Sharifs, contained in Para 50 that reads as under:

Khalid Anwar has mainly placed reliance on the judgment in the case of Ittefaq Foundry v. Federation of Pakistan, PLD 1990 Lahore 121. In the cited case it was contended that the petitioner was a producer of billets and that there were other producers, producing ingots, the end-product whereof was same. In order to economically ruin the petitioner in the cited case, duty structure was changed in the year 1989 without reasonable justification and the change in the duty structure was against the rights guaranteed in Articles 4, 18 and 25 of the Constitution. The contention of the petitioner was accepted and the relief was allowed. However, with the change in fortunes, the persons were feeling the pinch of oppression in the case of Ittefaq Foundry v. Federation of Pakistan, became the rulers and thereafter, they very easily and conveniently managed to forge the treatment given to them and got the duty structure changed through notification assailed in these petitions, thereby deriving huge undue benefit at the cost of total destruction of the small importers and traders of the scrap in loose form.

The above paragraph confirms beyond any doubt how traders as rulers have been playing havoc with the national exchequer and minting billions through tax concessions secured vide SROs thus destroying their competitors. Yet in the presence of these undeniable facts and court ruling the State agencies/institutions like FBR, FIA, ECP, NAB etc plead helplessness and claiming “lack of evidence” to proceed against the tax evaders and plunderers of national wealth.

 

 

 

In two articles, ‘Trail of hidden wealth’, Business Recorder, May 6, 2016 and ‘Tough times for PM’, Business Recorder, May 13, 2016, incontrovertible evidence was produced to show abuse of Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992 to legalise ill-gotten wealth, blatant violations of tax laws by the family of the Prime Minister and wrong declarations made by him in papers submitted to the Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in 2013 as well as false/misdeclarations in returns submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Astonishingly, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) still claims that “no evidence” is available to initiate proceedings against the rulers of the day.

 

 

 

The House of Sharifs has a proven track record of destroying competitive business houses but appeasing traders that politically back them and pose no threat to their “empire”. They have been passing laws to protect tax avoiders and were also beneficiaries of the same. Obviously, tax compliance does not suit the huge business empire of Nawaz/Shahbaz and family. It is not surprising that Nawaz Sharif during his third term as Prime Minister has already announced three tax amnesty schemes and now another is in the offing. In 2013, 2015 and 2016, he approved tax amnesties for tax evaders, which failed to mop up untaxed money.

On the very first day of 2016, the Prime Minister took pride in announcing a tax amnesty scheme and publically revealed that he had been asking his Finance Minister to come up with something “worthwhile” that could be “acceptable” to traders who had not been filing tax returns!! Lamentably, as Prime Minister, he openly vowed to protect the accumulation of untaxed (black) money. He never minces words for announcing schemes patronizing tax evaders and encouraging plunder of national wealth. This perhaps supports the allegations of the Opposition that he and his own family are guilty of these crimes as well, so he wants amnesty and immunities for all.

Nawaz Sharif is reportedly keen to launch yet another tax amnesty scheme knowing that his 2013 tax amnesty shockingly fetched a negligible amount of Rs 88 million from about 3000 persons! Much-publicised and negotiated with consensus (sic) Voluntary Tax Amnesty for traders, the deadline for which was extended many times, could not lure them and only 3205 got registered against the agreed target of one million new filers!

Businessmen and other citizens say they pay income tax and sales tax with electricity bills and mobile use. The rulers should not insist for tax returns as they have stacked assets worth billions of dollars abroad. For electioneering, the rulers get generous donations (chanda) from business magnates and after winning pay back through tax amnesties. Together they make billions through rent-seeking, tax evasion, and remit abroad the major portion of such ill-gotten income. Traders who have been investing billions in property in Pakistan and places like Dubai never bother to pay taxes due from them to run the State. PML(N) protects them!

According to FBR’s own study, the contribution of traders in income tax is just 0.5% and in sales tax about 1%. Like powerful absentee landlords, the traders pay meager income tax. However, they successfully keep revenue authorities at bay due to the powerful political influence they wield. The history of income tax law is fraught with provisions that were amended and/or re-amended on account of the traders’ shutter-down threats or violent demonstrations, causing legislators to get cold feet and succumbing to their demands. The governments civil and military alike have been extending amnesty schemes to tax evaders to whiten their undeclared incomes and ill-gotten wealth, for example, Ayub Khan’s Tax Amnesty Scheme of 1958, 1969 Tax Amnesty of Yahya Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Tax Amnesty, Self-Assessment Schemes of the 1970s, Special National Fund Bonds or Simplified Self-Assessment Scheme of the 1980s, Foreign Currency Accounts or Foreign Exchange Bearer Certificates of the 1990s, Amnesty Scheme of 2008 by PPP government, three amnesties schemes of Nawaz-Dar since 2013, various other millennium immunity schemes and the perpetual scheme in the form of the infamous section 111(4) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

Irrespective of what would be the fate of any new tax amnesty scheme, the question that emanates from the prevalent bizarre state of affairs is why traders have been defiant to file tax returns and sales tax statements? There cannot be any one definitive answer because the matter goes down to innumerable factors having roots in certain motivations as well as the draconian image of FBR. The sole responsibility for trust deficit cannot be assigned to FBR. The traders pay millions as Zakat and donations but abhor paying taxes. The general argument is that government spends money callously and for the benefit of elites.

The sanctity to make unrestrained (excessive) profits (munafaa) by traders has the authority of certain clerics. The traders borrow money at exorbitant rates from private parties but avoid banks to hide from the eyes of tax people. The lenders also remain tax-free and borrowers accumulate untaxed money by fleecing masses. There are no effective controls to check unscrupulous traders from charging unreasonable prices.

The clergy in general, with a few exceptions, plead against paying taxes and ask traders to pay Zakat. Resultantly, the greed to amass wealth becomes an obsession violating all social and moral obligations. Thus, adulterating eatables, incorrect measurements, selling defective or sub-standard products, misrepresenting, providing unprofessional services, defrauding customers, refusing to honor guarantees or other duties as abiding by governmental laws regarding trade or payment of taxes, are not considered immoral or violating laws.

All is fair, as long as one is able to stuff one’s pockets with paper money and then have the audacity to squander it in an ostentatious display of wealth and power. Such behavior is visible in the length and breadth of our entire society. Apart from an ignorable number, the majority of traders from a petty fruit/vegetable vendor to the owner of large departmental stores leave no stone unturned to swindle an unassuming customer as well as the concerned government agents with whose connivance they easily manage to evade their national duties.

Non-compliance of tax obligation is a grim reality of Pakistan. The State has failed to fulfill its basic obligations-protection of life and property, health, education, housing and transport etc. In our peculiar milieu, the government needs to educate the masses through the same platform that is used by clergy. The mosques should be under state control, headed by trained teachers who are adequately paid the same model exists in a majority of Muslim countries. Primary education should start from the mosques.

The trader-mullah nexus for non-payment of taxes and huge amounts extracted for madrassahs are issues that need to be debated and handled democratically. These are critical for our existence as a democratic country lest we continuously slide towards mullocracy, extremism, and militancy that have disastrous effects for societies, and are destructive to humanity. Tax defiance and corruption in Pakistan are closely linked with rulers-cum-traders-who are unscrupulous and their greed is unbound. Plato aptly said in the Republic that ruin comes for a country when traders whose hearts are filled with greed become rulers. This is what we are witnessing in today’s Pakistan.

(The writers, lawyers, and partners in Huzaima, Ikram & Ijaz, are Adjunct Faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).)

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Pakistan Corruption Free Or Free For Corruption – Cartoon The Nation

Panama decision will also be a verdict on Corruption in Pakistan

Either Pakistan will be Corruption Free Or Free For Corruption

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