Imran dismisses claims he concealed assets through offshore company

Published: May 16, 2016
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An Express News screengrab of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan talking to media outside his residence in Islamabad on May 16, 2016.

An Express News screengrab of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan talking to media outside his residence in Islamabad on May 16, 2016.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Monday dismissed allegations that he concealed his assets through an offshore company, saying he was answerable before the parliament.

“It was a legal requirement to acquire property in the UK through a company so I had to buy the company. I never hid my assets, my flat which I sold to buy property in Bani Gala,” the cricketer-turned-politician said.

Imran went on to claim that he brought his London flat legally through the money on which he paid all the taxes. “I have all my tax returns paid since 1982.”

“Nevertheless, I am ready to respond to the questions [about the offshore property],” Imran maintained.

Imran admits owning offshore company to ‘avoid UK taxes’

Earlier, Imran who had just returned to the country from his UK trip said, “I am not among those who level counter allegations on their opponents instead of presenting the facts before the nation. I will first clarify myself. In democracy, a leader does not put counter allegations. I am accountable to the people.”

The PTI chief said a meeting of the joint opposition is being held which will formulate the strategy to be adopted in the lower house of the parliament. “I want to discuss everything before the prime minister in the assembly. This is a great moment for democracy and it will further the democratic culture in the country if prime minister responds to the questions of the opposition in the assembly.”

“Times have changed. Pakistan has reached to a state that it can no longer be run the way it has been run previously. You cannot come in power, make illegal money and attack those who question you by running a smear campaign through a media house. No one can hide in the age of social media. Imran and Nawaz are equally accountable to the people,” he added.

PM will answer opposition on Panama Papers: Rashid

Regarding Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali’s refusal to form a judicial commission on government’s plea to probe the Panama Papers leaks, Imran said the opposition’s stance has been vindicated. “Everyone knew the chief justice will reject the TORs presented by the government. The chief justice said the right thing. If Nawaz Sharif is serious and thinks that he is innocent then he should sit with the opposition and discuss the TORs.”

Last week, the PTI chairman admitted that he formed an offshore company in 1983 during his cricketing years in London. Speaking to reporters at London Heathrow Airport, Imran said he formed the offshore firm on the advice of his accountant to “avoid UK taxes”. “I was already paying 35 per cent tax on my income there, so to avoid further taxes, I bought the flat through an offshore firm, which was my right as I was not a British citizen,” he said, adding, “There is no illegality in it.”

Leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama last month showed premier’s children – Hassan, Hussain and Maryam – owned at least three offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

CJP refuses govt’s request to form judicial commission probing Panama leaks

The opposition had last week prepared seven questions for the prime minister to answer on the floor of the assembly.

The prime minister is expected to address a joint session of the Parliament today [Monday] where he will respond to the questions of the opposition regarding his family’s alleged offshore wealth. “People should wait for Nawaz’s speech in which he will respond to questions of the opposition and other parliamentarians,” Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Faisal
    May 16, 2016 - 1:59PM

    Sorry Sir, with due respect, you didn’t declared your offshore company during 2013 election, secondly, no one is seeking your opinion, if allegations against you is proved, then you may lose your seat and finally, do something for country instead of agitation.Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 16, 2016 - 3:10PM

    Imran Khan still has not understood tat politics is a full time affair 365/24/7….he gives the impression he’s on a personal crusade almost an ego trip.
    People realize you are clean….but you have to be seen as being clean…..and you just don’t seem to understand that.Recommend

  • Gaz
    May 16, 2016 - 3:12PM

    @Faisal: He did not declare in 2013 election because he sold the flat in 2004 and closed the account and then he brought the money into Pakistan. Try to keep up and do some research before commenting.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 16, 2016 - 3:27PM

    I will first respond to the allegations leveled against me in the parliament and will then ask Nawaz Sharif to clarify the allegations against him.

    by all means you are welcome to wash your dirty clothes too but under oath in the parliament. Besides, your story is not related to Panama offshore companies?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Imran Qadri
    May 16, 2016 - 3:34PM

    @Gaz

    Was the company declared in 2003 elections when Imran had supported dictator’s sham referendum and had asked him to ban all mainstream political players and impose him as PM.Recommend

  • Woz ahmed
    May 16, 2016 - 11:31PM

    Am sorry,but this is a lie

    “It was a legal requirement to acquire property in the UK through a company so I had to buy the company”

    But I would stress he did nothing illegal, tax avoidance is legitimate, tax evasion is illegal.

    He did what his tax advisers told him to do, morally wrong but legally correct.Recommend

  • cheebu
    May 17, 2016 - 1:58AM

    i am not sure if you guys commenting are aware of double taxation. Its where an individual has to pay taxes on “tax residence” (which in his case is 35% on county cricket) and also on other income (i.e. bringing money in from overseas – i.e. playing in other countries). In many cases you have pay tax in both countries if there is no FTA, hence an offshore company is created. There is no Morally wrong or Legally wrong if you have already paid your fair share of tax in one jurisdiction.. in this case UK.Recommend

  • May 17, 2016 - 2:55AM

    Then wy did not he tell before anybody else that he has an offshore company ?Recommend

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