Govt has identified people behind COAS tax record’s leaks: Ishaq Dar

Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar is addressing the All Pakistan Chartered Accountants Conference 2022 on Sustainability, Technology and Transformation in Islamabad on October 19, 2022. — APP 

ISLAMABAD: The people behind the leak of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tax records have been identified, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday.

Speaking during Geo News programme ‘Capital Talk‘, the finance czar said that he has received an interim report regarding the leaked tax record, while some people involved in the record’s disclosure have also been traced.

Dar, during the interview, deemed the act of leaking the army chief’s income tax returns “illegal”.

“I have seen the interim report. I hope to receive the final report today,” Dar told the host. He added that the government has found a few people behind the leak and the issue will reach its logical conclusion.

The finance minister shared that one person involved in the leak is from Lahore, while the other is from Rawalpindi.

He, however, added that there is a possibility that some of the individuals involved may have the authorisation to look at the income tax records as there a “circle” in Rawalpindi where assessments take place.

“These people are authorised to access [data] for their assessment,” said Dar.

The finance minister was of the view that if “illegal work” is allowed or a blind eye is turned towards it then a person will not be fulfilling their duty.

“The law does not allow the release of army chief or anyone else’s income tax returns without a court order,” said the finance minister.

Probe ordered for ‘Illegal, unwarranted’ leaks

A day earlier, Dar took notice of the “illegal and unwarranted” leakage of tax information of Gen Bajwa’s family members.

“This is clearly a violation of the complete confidentiality of tax information that the law provides,” a statement from the Finance Division read.

An immediate investigation into the violation of tax law and breach of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data will be carried out, said the statement.

In view of this serious lapse on the part of to-date unknown functionaries, Dar had directed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha to personally lead the probe, affix responsibility, and submit a report within 24 hours, it added.

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