ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has told the Supreme Court that it were the accusations like ‘Zionist lobby’ and ‘purchase of antique tiles’ levelled on Jemima Khan by the Sharifs “that ended their marriage in divorce and forced his former wife to leave the country”.
Khan was referring to the political campaign of the late 1990s launched against him by his political opponents. When they got nothing against him, he said, they found Jemima and targeted her Jewish family background, etc. It was in those days when a case was registered against Jemima for illegally exporting hundreds of antique tiles to the UK.
“In 2002, having been hounded by allegations of still being part of the Jewish lobby and a false case [instituted] by the Sharifs of illegally taking out antique tiles (which had [actually] been purchased in a shop in the federal capital and were anything but antique) for which an FIR was also filed, Ms Jemima Khan took our two children and moved back to Landon,” says Khan in his 10-page affidavit submitted in the apex court on Tuesday.
The affidavit was submitted in reply to a petition filed by PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi, seeking disqualification of the PTI chief for giving contradictory statements about the ownership of the Banigala land.
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Khan said parting ways with Jemima was ‘painful’, “however, Jemima and he still maintains a civilized relationship”.
Khan also submitted documentary evidence to establish the money trail to the ownership of the Banigala land wherein it is stated that he earned the money from playing cricket and purchased a flat in Landon in 1983.
The PTI chief said he was the sole owner of the flat and no other asset was placed under the Niazi Services Limited at any point except the London flat.
“At the time of the purchase of the London flat, an offshore resident did not have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale of [his/her] flat. In 1983, he did not know whether he would be a resident in the UK.
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“[The] deponent was advised that the flat be placed under an offshore company which would not have to pay any CGT. In case of sale, the incorporation of the Niazi Services Limited merely [act] as a vehicle with subscribed capital of GBP9 and NSL was not an asset.”
According to the affidavit, the entire process was done by Barclays Private Bank and Trust Limited. Later, Khan benefitted from the Tax Amnesty Scheme 2000, the document says and adds “consequently, a form of undisclosed income, the price of acquisition and the flat itself was filed. The return and tax paid was accepted by income tax authorities and has never been an issue since”.
Imran stated that the Banigala land was purchased in March 2002, wherein Rashid Ali Khan was very helpful. “The land was declared as belonging to the dependent (Imran’s) wife. The contrary assertion that it was merely ‘parked in her name’ is incorrect”.
Imran says that when a malicious campaign was launched in 2002, Jemima shifted to the UK and gave money to purchase land at Banigala. Rashid Ali Khan, a close friend known to the PTI chairman since 1994, was entrusted with the task of receiving the amount sent in the dollars by Ms Jemima Khan to his Citibank account, the documents reveal.
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“To the best of the deponent’s recall instructions to City Bank London were issued by Jemima Khan which routed the money through City Bank USA to Rashid Khan’s account.”
The affidavit says that the entire land was mutated in Jemima’s name and it was her property for all intents and purposes.
“A sum of £562,415,54 was transferred on May 7, 2003 by Imran through bank transfer to Jemima Khan, returning the bridge financing arrangement done by her in the interregnum.”
Regarding the Niazi Services Limited, Khan said it was kept alive because of litigation and to recover the costs awarded. However, he believed that keeping the Niazi Services Limited alive was actually a fruitless exercise after the sale of the flat.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the PTI, Anwar Mansoor Khan, contended before the three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar that the PML-N leader’s plea against foreign funding was not maintainable under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.
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He also submitted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had no authority to determine the party’s funding, which were got through prohibited sources in 2010 to 2013 as it was a past and closed matter, adding the matter related to foreign aid could be decided by the federal government.
Anwar expressed his wiliness that the Supreme Court may form a commission to probe the prohibited fund. The bench, however, asked him to consult his client. The hearing will resume today (Wednesday).
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