All of Nawaz Sharif’s assets, except for a sugar mill, have been transferred in the name of his children, sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
Official documents obtained by The Express Tribune show that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president paid Rs2.5 million in taxes this year on income earned from the Chaudhry Sugar Mills. Last year he had paid Rs2 million in taxes. “He has paid all taxes for the sugar mill,” an official from the FBR said, who did not want to be named.
Last year, Nawaz was accused by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan of only paying Rs5,000 in taxes, which sparked much criticism from the media.
“I can confirm that Nawaz Sharif does not own any other business or property anywhere in the world,” said Punjab government spokesperson Pervaiz Rashid while talking to The Express Tribune. “In Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has one business – the Chaudhry Sugar Mills,” the PML-N senator said.
Rashid further said that Nawaz, who belongs to a prominent industrialist family, in his second tenure as prime minister (1997-1999) transferred all his assets to his children to avoid a “conflict of interest”.
The PML-N member said it was a mere propaganda against Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that they were evading taxes, adding that the family had paid Rs490 million in taxes during 2008-09, while a total of Rs6.67 billion was paid in eight years. The figures can be checked from relevant offices, he added.
Family sources added that after the death of Nawaz’s father, Mian Mohammad Sharif, in 2004, assets were directly transferred to Nawaz’s children instead of being transferred to him. The PML-N president’s apartments in London were also transferred to the children, family members added.
“If anyone can show assets beyond those declared by Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif in their documents submitted to the FBR, any such asset, even if it’s worth billions of rupees, will be immediately transferred to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (founded by Imran Khan),” Rashid said.
In a massive rally in Lahore on Sunday, Khan had demanded that all politicians declare their assets. Rashid said that a petition has been filed before the Supreme Court regarding politicians’ assets abroad and Khan can become a party in the case if he wishes to. If there is any evidence of undeclared assets of the Sharif family at home and abroad, then he (Khan) can try to prove it. “Imran Khan should first declare his own assets and then make such demands to other people.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2011.