Damaging report reveals how Pakistan army chief, family amassed billions during his 6-year tenure

NEW DELHI: Army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa‘s family members and relatives became billionaires during his six-year tenure, amassing assets worth over Rs 13 billion, according to a report published on a Pakistani news website.
The damaging report by FactFocus, which cites tax returns and wealth statements of several of Bajwa’s family members, comes just days before the army chief’s tenure is about to end.

Here are the salient findings of the report:

  1. The current market value of the known assets and business of the army chief and his family, both within and outside Pakistan, amount to Rs 12.7 billion.
  2. Assets of Gen Bajwa‘s wife, Ayesha Amjad, went from zero in 2016 to Rs 2.2 billion (declared and known) in six years. The amount does not include residential plots, commercial plots and houses given by the army to her husband.
  3. The total worth of the declared assets of Mahnoor Sabir (Gen Bajwa’s daughter-in-law) jumped from zero in the last week of October 2018 to Rs 1.3 billion on November 2, 2018, while the assets of Mahnoor’s sister Hamna Naseer went from zero in 2016 to “billions” by 2017.
  4. Mahnoor’s windfall came just a week before her marriage on November 2, 2018.
  5. Though Mahnoor declared these properties to the Federal Board of Revenue in 2018, the filing retrospectively stated that these properties were acquired in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  6. Tax returns of Sabir Hameed – father of Mahnoor and father-in-law of the army chief’s son Saad Siddique Bajwa- showed he had a “million” in 2013 but “in the coming years, he became a billionaire”.
  7. FBR documents show that in 2014, Sabir Hameed declared 18 properties and a business capital of Rs 16 million, and Rs 152 million in cash. In 2021, Sabir declared 26 properties in the most expensive areas of Lahore, business capital of Rs 141 million, investment of Rs 764 million, and Rs 380.3 million in cash.
  8. Nasir Hameed
  9. The General’s family started an oil business in 2018, Taxx Petroleum Pakistan, headquartered in Dubai and expanded all over Pakistan within a few months.
  10. Mahnoor was made ‘the manager’ of Taxx Petroleum Pakistan in November 2019.

Pakistan orders probe
Lending credence to the report, the Pakistan government ordered a probe on Monday into the “illegal and unwarranted” leak of their tax records.
Finance minister Ishaq Dar said leak of the tax records of the Chief of Army Staff is “clearly violative of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides.” Dar has directed a senior official to personally lead an immediate probe into the violation of tax laws and breach of Federal Board of Revenue data.
The FactFocus website, which describes itself as a “Pakistan-based digital media news organisation working on data-based investigative news stories”, shared the alleged wealth statements of Gen Bajwa and his family from 2013 to 2021 on its page.
“Within six years, both families become billionaires, started an international business, purchased multiple foreign properties, started transferring capital abroad, become owners of commercial plazas, commercial plots, huge farmhouses in Islamabad and Karachi, an immense real estate portfolio in Lahore, and so on. The current market value of the – known – assets and businesses within Pakistan and outside accumulated by the Bajwa family during the last six years is more than Rs12.7 billion,” read the report.
So far, the Pakistan army has not commented on the FactFocus report.
(With inputs from agencies)

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