Those behind Gen Bajwa’s tax record leak have been identified: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that he had received an initial report on the leak of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s income tax records, adding that they were able to trace some people involved in the act.

Answering different questions in a Geo News talk show, the federal minister again said that leaking the army chief’s income tax returns was “illegal”.

“I have seen the interim report. I hope to receive the final report today,” Dar said. He added that one person involved in the leak was from Lahore and another from Rawalpindi.

Dar, however, said there was a possibility that some of the individuals involved might have the authorisation to look at the income tax records as there is an income tax circle in Rawalpindi where assessments take place. “These people are authorised to access [data] for their assessment.”.

The finance minister was of the view that if “illegal work” was allowed or a blind eye turned towards that then a person would not be fulfilling their duty.

“The law does not allow the release of army chief or anyone else’s income tax returns without a court order,” he noted.

Probe Ordered

Earlier on Monday, Dar had ordered an inquiry into the leakage of tax information of the army chief’s family members and sought an immediate report on the issue.

Describing it as an “illegal and unwarranted”, the Finance Division, in a series of tweets, said it was a clear violation of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides.

“Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has taken serious notice of the illegal and unwarranted leakage of tax information of the family members of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff,” the tweet read.

The Finance Division further noted that in view of this serious lapse on the part of to-date unknown functionaries, the minister had directed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha.

During the process, Pasha would personally lead an immediate investigation into the violation of tax law and breach of FBR data, affix responsibility and submit a report within 24 hours.

The development came after FactFocus, which describes itself as a “Pakistan-based digital media news organisation working on data-based investigative news stories”, published a story on Sunday.

It alleged that the army chief’s the army chief’s family had amassed billions of rupees in the last six years, citing tax returns and wealth statements.

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