KARACHI: Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s allegations, saying that the family has no business relations with the Sharif family.
The former finance minister was speaking on media talk show, where he strongly denied the PTI’s allegations calling him Sharifs’ frontman in relation to corruption.
Dar’s rebuttal came in response to allegations by Imran. The PTI chairman had claimed that Dar was involved in money laundering and was a frontman for the Sharifs. He had also claimed, among other things, that Dar and his sons owned 52 villas in Dubai and had recieved millions in their accounts from Switzerland and other countries.
While responding to a question regarding properties owned by his son, Dar said that his son’s business is fully documented and audited by one of the world’s largest audit firms.
“The 52 villas were not bought, they were booked, there is a difference. Only a token payment has to be paid and it is a common practice in the UAE,” said the ex-finance minister.
He also said that Imran Khan always levels baseless allegations on others and has become “a master in doing so”.
Dar alleged that Imran Khan used to visit him and his sons’ offices in London and ask for charity for his cancer hospital.
Speaking in regards to his tax record, the former finance minister said that it is a baseless allegation that he did not pay taxes, adding that he filed tax returns and presented the record in court twice, including during the JIT investigation.
“I was a non-resident, therefore, I wasn’t liable to pay taxes according to the Pakistani law,” said Dar in reference to the years he spent outside Pakistan.
Dar further said that all his financial record is with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Supreme Court. “Since 2007, there is a decline in my net worth,” he said.
Imran is lying that the funds came from Switzerland, not a single penny came from there, said Dar, adding that the PTI chief should substantiate his arguments with evidence.
He said that if anyone provides a piece of alleged evidence against him, his sons will prove him wrong. “I have never up till now allowed my sons to break their silence, but today, I am authorising them to present answers,” he said.
Dar called PTI chief’s allegation that Captain (retd) Safdar and Hussain Nawaz are employees of his son’s company as baseless.
“Why would Hussain be my son’s employ, when he is already director of his own company?” said Dar.
When asked about his return to the country, Dar did not give any definite date. He said that his MRI test was conducted on Dec 20, which showed inflammation in vertebrae and his next appointment is in the first week of January.
“I always had neck and back problems and it is well-known” said Dar.
Tower developers are not owners: Ali Dar
The former finance minister’s son, Ali Dar, joined in the conversation from Dubai and answered questions related to the Dar family’s property in Dubai.
The son was asked regarding the PTI chief’s allegation about the Dar family’s two towers in Dubai worth $200 million.
“A tower developer isn’t the owner,” he said, adding that the family business was to only develop the towers.
“The towers Imran is referring to have 400 units each and around 300 to 325 owners,” said Ali and added that the family only owns the top floor of the HDS tower and a couple of units on other floors.
“My equity in the booking of the HDS Tower was five million Dirhams only,” he said while elaborating that he did not lend from the bank and carried out pure cash-flow management to finance the project.
“I started my business in 2004, and when in 2007 we booked the villas, I had already constructed and finished HDTS Towers in 2005. When we booked the villas, we had the funds and we booked them. The first villa was sold within the first two weeks.”
Ali said he is willing to share documentary proof to support his statements.
Speaking in regards to business ties with the Sharif family, the former finance minister’s son claimed that he married into the Sharif family but does not have any business relations with them.
“Mohammad Safdar and Hussain Sharif aren’t our employees,” said Dar’s son when answering Imran’s allegations that Safdar and Hussain were also listed as employees in his company.
Dar’s son further said that the information regarding his property business can be verified by Emaar Construction in Dubai.
In relation to the accusation regarding remittances from Switzerland, he said that there was no such thing and the family did not receive six million dirhams from the country.
He explained that service charges might have come from the owners of the towers living in other countries, as quite a few owners of the units in HDS Tower live outside Dubai.
“Imran is portraying it in the wrong manner, we make offshore companies in Dubai as that is the only way to do business for expatriates here,” said Ali Dar.
Earlier, the PTI chief had alleged that former finance minister Dar is Nawaz’s frontman.
“Ishaq Dar has 11 companies in Dubai. Hussain Nawaz and Safdar are also employees of these companies,” claimed the PTI chairman.
“Where is Ishaq Dar getting all the money from? They’re all interlinked. We are facing a mafia,” he said.
Court declares Dar proclaimed offender
An accountability court on December 11 declared Dar a proclaimed offender due to his continued absence from the proceedings of the court.
He is accused by NAB of possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The case was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case,
Dar is accused of owning assets that are disproportionate to his declared sources of income. He has skipped the last six hearings of the case owing to his medical treatment in London.
The court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Dar on November 14 and declared him an absconder on November 21.
Later, after a period of 10 days (instead of the usual 30), the court initiated the process of declaring Dar a proclaimed offender.