Muhammad Arif : Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), Former Head of FSCD SBP, Former Head of Research ArifHabib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, Former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan

Former finance minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Ishaq Dar appeared on BBC Hard Talk, where the program host Stephen Sackur grilled him about his properties and return to Pakistan in the show’s characteristic inquisitorial style.Sackur pushed for a figure, and Dar responded: “I have my main residence in Pakistan which has been taken over by this regime. I haven’t got too many properties.”He also said his sons, who have been in business for the last 17 years and are not dependent on him, own one villa in Dubai. The family owns no property in London, he added.Asked why he does not go back to Pakistan to make his case in court, Dar said: “I am here for medical treatment for almost three years [as] my lawyers represent me in court.”

At this interview a hue and cry has started in Pakistan. Some senior anchors like Ayaz Amir and others said that after witnessing the interview they felt so much shame for Pakistan that theyliketo die. PM Imran Khan called him a liar and labeled people like him as “AzabeIlahi”.

If this is so than they all should die each day for feeling ashamed about seeing what is happening around them.

Nothing is wrong in this interview. For the last 70 years we are in the hands of such managers particularly on the economic side. Even current economic manager of Imran Khan i.e. Abdul HafeezShaikf was also economic advisor of Zardari who has been termed as AzabeElahi by his new boss.

Even known economist DrMeboobulHaq in Ayub era built his economic empire on the concept of 24 families of Pakistan to have the major assets of Pakistan. This had separated poor people from elites of Pakistan.

Pakistan and India were the two countries of the world where Benami Transactions were in vogue: It is a transaction or an arrangement where a property is transferred to, or is held by, a person, and the consideration for such property has been provided, or paid by, another person and the property is held for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of the person who has provided.The Fede­ral Board of Revenue (FBR) defines a benami property as one which is a subject matter of benami transaction and includes proceeds from such a property.

India disbanded such transaction in 2010 and we started the process in 2016 which is being pursued by Implementation of Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Rules, 2019.

So nobody knows in Pakistan that which property or asset belong to which person. We still don’t have tax laws for services, Agriculture, Whole sale and Retail sectors covering 90 % of economy. Government still borrows through outdated Public Act Debt Act 1944 whereas India and other countries have brought new laws in 21st century.

I still remember that when I was in State Bank and later on, I always pointed out that Ishaq Dar is a charted accountant and not fit for the job of Finance Minister. During his time in 1997 Foreign Currency Accounts were frozen that created a hell for the economy.

So instead of criticizing Ishaq Dar interview with vulgar language we should look forward and try to get away with all such managers who still control the current government of PTI.

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