ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif did not declare his National Bank of Abu Dhabi account in his tax returns and nomination papers, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Usman Dar claimed before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday.
The IHC was hearing the PTI leader’s petition seeking Asif’s disqualification for allegedly concealing his assets. Justice Amir Farooq, heading a three member bench, asked where Asif got the money to set up a restaurant abroad.
Dar’s counsel Sikandar Basheer Mohmand informed the court that Asif allegedly concealed his business abroad and transferred Rs22 million to the accounts of his wife and daughter but never declared them.
The counsel claimed that Asif had declared six bank accounts in his nomination papers for the 2013 general elections and tax returns but that did not include the National Bank of Abu Dhabi account which contained some funds until 2015.
He also alleged that Asif submitted an Abu Dhabi domicile for the bank account in question. In an earlier hearing, Dar, who had been defeated by Asif by over 21,000 votes in the 2013 elections, had claimed that the foreign minister failed to declare his salary amounting to 50,000 UAE Dirhams per month.
PTI chief Imran Khan had also mentioned the case in a press conference last week and had requested the court to ensure a speedy trial. “As the head of a party, I have the right to tell the judiciary that you are taking too long in taking action on the case although the man [Asif] is a security risk for the country,” he said at the time. Khan also said that there can be “no bigger fraud” than Asif who was earning Rs1.6m a month while working as a legal consultant, even though he has only worked in banks before.