(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The
Supreme Court of Pakistan yesterday sought a comprehensive report
identifying citizens who hold properties and banks accounts in foreign
countries and action taken against them by the government.
has been common knowledge for years that a large number of Pakistani
citizens, who are residents of Pakistan and are maintaining accounts in
foreign countries without disclosing the same to the authorities
competent under the laws of Pakistan or paying taxes on the same in
accordance with law, observed Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while
dictating an order in the open court.
Prima facie, the court
observed, it appeared that such money was siphoned off without the
payment of taxes through illegal channels and represented either
ill-gotten gains or kickbacks from public contracts.
creates gross disproportion, inequality and disparity in society, which
warps economic activity and growth, and constitutes plunder and theft of
national wealth, the chief justice regretted.
The court ordered the
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to furnish on February 15 a comprehensive
report regarding steps taken under the international
agreements/treaties/protocols to identify the citizens who hold accounts
in foreign jurisdictions, including the UAE, Switzerland, Luxemburg,
Spain and the UK, and other tax haven jurisdictions, including British
Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Channel Islands.
The SBP, the
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Securities and Exchange Commission
of Pakistan (SECP) and the finance ministry are also required to submit
report on the steps taken, in collaboration with other state
institutions, for retrieval of the said money.
According to the
order, the FBR will submit a report providing details of the steps taken
on the basis of information available, inter alia, through Panama
Papers and Paradise Papers and the action taken against citizens holding
All state agencies, including Intelligence Bureau,
Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and FIA, are directed
to share all requisite information available with them with the apex
court, whereas the SBP, ministry of finance and foreign office will also
collaborate with each other, collect and share information and approach
the foreign jurisdictions to obtain information, as may be necessary,
through legal and diplomatic channels.
The order recalled that
recently the names of a large number of Pakistani citizens were
disclosed in Panama Papers and Paradise Papers.
The FBR chairman had
also appeared before the court and made a statement that appropriate
action was being initiated against the citizens whose names had appeared
in the Panama Papers.
Therefore, in exercise of powers under
Article 184(3) of the constitution, the court took suo motu notice and
summoned the people concerned to appear on February 15 to assist the
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