A day after Imran Khan's "lack of salary records" made headlines, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief held a press conference at Bani Gala to refute the allegations of money laundering and tax evasion levelled against him.
"Everyone knows that I earned money abroad and brought it back to Pakistan, and purchased Bani Gala from that money — I will show you those documents right now," said Khan on Sunday. "How does that equate to money laundering?"
"I used to pay tax abroad, so if anyone should be worried, it should be them [the UK government]. As far as declaration of assets is concerned, everyone knows that I had an apartment in London," said the PTI chief.
The first case filed against me by PML-N questioned how the money from my London flat's sale came to Pakistan, said Khan. "It came through Jemimah; she sent all [the details of] her bank accounts, which have been submitted to the Supreme Court (SC)," he elaborated. "The money from the flat's sale was given to Jemimah who then sent it to Pakistan — those transactions are in the statements that have been presented in the SC."
He said that people donate money to his charities because they trust him. "They give me their money because they think I am an honest person who will not take advantage of their wealth. People give me donations for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH); two of which have been built [in Lahore and Peshawar], while a third is being built in Karachi."
Lashing out at PML-N's Khawaja Asif, who had accused Khan of investing charity money in France and Oman, he said that if the minister had any proof of discrepancies in SKMCH's accounts, then he should take his objections to court. "It [the hospital] runs on donations and we have audit reports as proof."
Money from Sussex
Showing another document at the press conference, Khan said that he played for Sussex for 11 years. “The Sussex County Cricket Club gave me a certificate and this is the club’s official letter, stating that I played for them from 1977-1988 — it also says that a 33 per cent at-source tax was deducted.”
Since the club does not have the record of the money paid to me, I submitted Mushtaq Ahmed’s contract who played for Sussex 18 years after me, justified Khan. “He is also a Pakistani cricketer and his contract says that he earned 70,000 pounds per year. The reason I presented Ahmed’s contract was to give the court an idea of how much I would have earned as a [renowned] all-rounder of my time if he earned 70,000 pounds a year.”
Calling out English daily The News and Jang Group's Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on the publication's Sunday story about Khan's 'Qatari' letter, the PTI chief said, "The News wrote that Austin Robert’s letter [submitted by Khan's lawyer in court] is equivalent to the 'Qatari' letter produced by the Sharif family."
"Robert wrote in his letter that he signed me in 1977. He didn’t only sign me; Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, and 50 other cricketers from all over the world were also signed. It was a standard annual contract of $25,000," said Khan.
"If you believe you are an investigative journalist, call Austin Robert, check his background, and you will realise that his letter is not [like the] Qatari letter. He will have all the documents in his archives — not just mine, but of 50 other cricketers — proving that we had a standard contract."