Home Latest News Sarina Isa Goes Public With Her Reply to FBR Notice

Sarina Isa Goes Public With Her Reply to FBR Notice

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Justice Faez Isa. Courtesy Supreme Court of Pakistan

Justice Faez Isa’s wife has submitted her financial details and urged examination of assets owned by P.M. Khan and other lawmakers

Sarina Isa, the wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa, on Friday released to media the statement she has submitted to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), adding that she felt compelled to do so to end the propaganda against her family.

The six-page document, addressed to Inland Revenue Commissioner Zulfiqar Ahmed, alleges that Mrs. Isa has been subjected to harassment, humiliation and propaganda at the behest of “senior officials.” In it, she urges FBR officials to not be bullied by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government and urges them to apply the laws being applied against her to the P.M., Law Minister Farogh Naseem, former attorney general Anwar Mansoor and Assets Recovery Unit Chairman Shahzad Akbar and their families.

Copies of her statement were released at the National Press Club in Islamabad through her counsel, along with annexures regarding her family’s three offshore properties.

In her statement, Mrs. Isa says the FBR has alleged she did not receive their notices demanding explanation over her assets. “On June 25, my father died,” she writes, adding that she expected to be “treated like a human being and not targeted the very day my father died.” She said the FBR’s decision to paste its notices on the front gate of her home—in full display of all passerby—had made her “feel like a crook” and alleged that she had been informed this was done on “orders from above.”

She has also raised questions on some points raised by the FBR notices, including questioning under which law the FBR was seeking information on assets older than five years; on her foreign currency accounts; on tax year 2018, as one of the properties under question was bought in 2004 and two others in 2013. “Please keep in mind that just because I am providing information it does not mean that I accept FBR’s authority to ask me questions, which the law does not allow,” she added.

According to the letter, Mrs. Isa believes “Imran Khan’s coterie” has spread lies about her since May 2019, adding that all her properties had been legally purchased through proper banking channels. She said that she bought her first London property, a one-bedroom apartment, in 2004 for £236,000, and her daughter’s name had been added to it later. She said that she took the decision to invest abroad after terrorists targeted her husband, adding that she wanted to secure her children’s future. “Therefore, I helped them buy two properties in a relatively cheap area on the outskirts of London,” she added.

In her statement, Mrs. Isa has said her second and third London properties were bought in 2013, for £270,000 and the second for £245,000. One of them is in the names of herself and her daughter, while the other is in the names of herself and her son, she added.

“I and my children are probably one of a few who bought properties in London in our names. If we wanted to conceal ownership of the properties, we could have easily purchased them using a sham offshore company to hide the properties’ real owners,” she said, adding, “If you don’t believe me, please ask Mr. Imran Khan and his well-experienced coterie as to how they concealed their own ownership of properties abroad.”

In her statement, Mrs. Isa also asks the FBR to clarify what they mean by “money trail” for the properties. “Please explain and identify the provision in the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 where ‘money trail’ is mentioned so I can understand you and be able answer your question properly,” she wrote.

Explaining her assets, Mrs. Isa said she worked at the Karachi American School; was part-owner with a friend of properties in Karachi that they had rented out; and owned agricultural lands in Sindh and Balochistan. She said she had paid taxes of Rs. 576,540 in 2018 from taxable income of Rs. 4 million, adding that in 2019 she had paid Rs. 809,970 on income of Rs. 5.3 million. She also enclosed a certificate issued by Standard Chartered Bank for her foreign currency account, showing deposits for years 2003-2013 of £671,490 and remittances abroad during the same time of £698,002.

The Supreme Court judge’s wife concluded her statement by wondering why the FBR did not ask P.M. Khan why he paid less tax than her but could still afford to live in a 300-kanal mansion. “Should FBR not ask Mr. Imran Khan, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Anwar Mansoor Khan, and Mr. Farogh Naseem how they illegally obtained my past income tax records and then disclosed the same?” she added.

“Every day we are told that we are striving for the Madina ke Riyasat, therefore, I am sure these gentlemen will be only too happy to inform an ordinary taxpaying woman about how much tax they pay and the status of their wives’ and children’s properties. If not then I may have to ask them questions,” she said.

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