Dar accuses Imran Khan of tax theft, lying in post-JIT hearing presser

Published July 3, 2017
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talking to media persons after appearing before the JIT at Federal Judicial Academy. —APP
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talking to media persons after appearing before the JIT at Federal Judicial Academy. —APP
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar speaking to reporters outside the JIT Secretariat in Islamabad after his appearance before the probe team.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, after an appearance on Monday before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad, slammed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, terming him a "liar" and challenging him to present himself for accountability.

Dar, who addressed a press conference outside the Federal Judicial Academy — where the JIT's headquarters are housed — frequently resorted to personal attacks on the PTI chief in his speech.

"How much will you lie?" he asked, addressing Khan. "You should be ashamed of conducting politics on the basis of lies," he thundered.

"With what face did you file a petition against Nawaz Sharif under Article 62? Look at yourself first."

"Imran Khan is a scared man, basically. A man who hides his marriage. When you ask him where he married Jemimah Khan, he says Paris ... He's lying."

"Imran Khan — even if no one else knows, I know," Dar warned.

Continuing on his diatribe, the finance minister said: "My love-hate relationship with Imran Khan is very old, but [right] now I am disappointed ... In 1993, when I was president of the Lahore Chamber after resigning from the Investment Board, he used to come to my office in the chamber as well as my private office. He would sit with my two sons and wait for me [to ask for donations]."

"How has he become the second richest parliamentarian? He is not the son of an industrialist, like Nawaz Sharif is.

"He [Imran Khan] is three times richer than I am, and I am a chartered accountant, I have a value. My juniors from 40 years ago are asking between Rs20-25 million a month. How do you have three times the assets [I do]?" he asked.

"We have presented ourselves for accountability. When will you?" he added.

"In 2008, he [Imran Khan] asked my son for a donation for the Shaukut Khanum Hospital ... When I found out that Khan sahab has gambled with the money given to him through donations and zakat, my trust was broken," the finance minister alleged.

"Lets talk about morality: this man has ruined the morality of the youth that supports him," Dar claimed.

"The things he says, he should adhere to them first. He should tell us where his loyalties lie: with Pakistan, with Muslims, or with Jews or Christians?"

"Last year, he was proudly supporting Zac Goldsmith [former spouse Jemima Khan's brother] for mayor and I was supporting Sadiq Khan. Support your brothers and sisters in Pakistan," he urged Khan.

"Unfortunately, he has not learnt any lessons ... Unfortunately, his brain is set on one thing. He has been restless since the General Election. First there were the dharnas, then he filed this petition.

"Khan knows he cannot win the election. Even when Musharraf was in power, he would kiss his feet," Dar claimed.

"You are a liar," the federal minister said. "You are an illiterate, cowardly tax thief."

Dar's JIT appearance

The finance minister, while briefing the media about his JIT appearance, denied claims he had been summoned by the JIT thrice before but had failed to appear due to prior commitments.

"The first notice I received was dated June 28," he said.

"I answered the questions they [the JIT] asked today because I believe whatever the situation is, it is very transparent," he said after the JIT hearing.

"Imran Khan used to say that from me they will find the money trail to the flats in London. Today, I have given the JIT an account for every rupee," he claimed.

He claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's name had not been mentioned in any case nor in any company documents related to the Panama Papers, and alleged that those whose names were mentioned included the heads of other political parties.

"As far as the Panama Papers case is concerned, the PM's family presented themselves before the JIT but, just as they said, there is no evidence of even a rupee of corruption or scam," he alleged.

"As far as the JIT's credibility is concerned, they will have to prove it. The confessional statement [in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case] is not written by my hand.

"It has no evidentiary value — I did not make that decision. I am telling you that the superior judiciary made that decision. The prosecutor-general said it has no evidentiary value."

Read more: What did Ishaq Dar 'confess' to during the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference in 2000?

Dar also said that it was 'hurtful' to see Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, being summoned by the JIT as she was like a daughter to him.

He added that if Khan's sister's name had also been mentioned in the documents for Niazi Services and they were summoned as Maryam was, it would hurt him too.

He requested the Supreme Court to look into the matter and asked the JIT to revise its decision and send Maryam Nawaz a questionnaire to her house as opposed to asking her to appear before the JIT.

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