Apr 102013

KARACHI – If tax payment in the recent years is any criterion, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief and former president General (r) Pervaiz Musharraf does not seem to be fulfilling it.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have submitted their respective “responses” to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in line with the its constitutional requirement for the financial scrutiny of the candidates for May 11 general elections.

According to tax details available with the FBR’s Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue Department Directorate General, the former president had given any tax during 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In his nomination forms for NA-250, the APML chief had declared to have earned over Rs 4.4 million during the period under review.

Musharraf, who remained in self-exile for years, declared his income for 2010 to be Rs 1.386 million, for 2011 to be Rs 1.467 million and for the year 2012, the former president said he had earned Rs 1.560 million. The head on the FBR’s summary of the former dictator’s filing of tax returns appears blank.

One may argue that filing tax returns from the years-long self exile was impossible for the retired general, especially while the millions earned had come from his foreign lectures. But, the question remains: Does this self-exile conform to Musharraf’s most-referred rhetoric of “Pakistan First”.

The APML chief, however, was able to secure a national tax number (NTN), 0018720-8, on October 17 of 1995 to the satisfaction of the ECP which made it mandatory for the poll contestants to mention their NTN in the nomination forms.

Musharraf was handed a clean chit by the SBP and the NAB. “It is certified that no information about any conviction or plea bargain or wilful loan default exists with NAB against the candidate,” said NAB official Major (r) Tariq Mehmood Malik in NAB’s response to the ECP.

Pakistan Today tried to contact Aasia Ishaque, a central leader and APML’s spokeswoman, but she was not available for comment.

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