The counsel for Aleema Khanum — sister of Prime Minister Imran Khan — on Friday issued a "statement of facts" saying his client has "partially paid" and was in the process of fully paying the tax, assessed and demanded with respect to her assets concealed abroad.
Khanum's lawyer Salman Akram Raja further clarified that his client's income and assets had nothing to do with any of the charities she was associated with or with any of her siblings.
The Supreme Court on December 13 had ordered Khanum to pay Rs29.4 million in taxes and fines for concealing her property abroad, warning that failure to deposit the amount would entail confiscation of her properties. The apex court announced this while hearing a case against 44 politically exposed individuals or their 'benamidars' who possess properties abroad.
"Any suggestion to the contrary is only baseless speculation," he said.
Raja said that the total equity (non-loan) investment done by Khanum and her husband for the purchase of properties outside of Pakistan was "not more than" Rs72.5 million, which were spread over several years.
The sources of financing of "certain properties outside Pakistan" by Khanum, which he listed, covered this investment, Raja said.
These sources include: the sale of property owned in Pakistan — including property owned or inherited by her husband Sohail Khan — as well as remission of funds from Pakistan through banking channels; the earnings of a company — engaged in the business of export facilitation of textile products from Pakistan — which Khanum holds 50 per cent interest in.
In addition to this, the foreign earnings of the company were allowed to be retained overseas, as per the applicable law, he added.
Moreover, the sources for financing also included the transfer of funds through banking channels out of Khanum's business income and bank loans against mortgages availed overseas.
Controversy erupted following the announcement a new clause in the 'Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill of 2019' announced on Wednesday which allowed tax authorities to issue notices for undeclared overseas properties.
Serious objections were raised by the opposition leaders regarding the amendment made in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. Social media was resounding on Thursday with the term ‘Aleema tax’ referring to the prime minister's sister over the amendment.
“She has nothing to do with all this. These are all mere accusations,” said Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday, adding that Khanum was asked about the money trail and she gave it to the court. She was directed to pay the penalty and she deposited it with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he said.