Pervez Musharraf needs no introduction. Yes, that same General responsible for Kargil War with India and the subsequent dictatorship in Pakistan has now been summoned by an inquiry commission.
The inquiry commission has been set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the man who Musharraf not only overthrew but also humiliated during his dictatorial reign.
The commission is investigating disproportionate wealth of the former Pakistani president who went into exile in 2008 before returning to a failed bid for power in 2013 general elections.
Musharraf is alleged to have amassed around Pakistani Rupee 2,156 million (INR 1,371 mn) in cash in offshore accounts as disclosed in the Panama Papers leak.
The amount is other than the moveable and immovable properties held by Musharraf in Pakistan and foreign countries. According to a report
, Musharraf has between seven and ten offshore accounts in London and Dubai where he has stored the huge wealth. The report says that Musharraf has invested his money in businesses abroad from where he earns huge profits. It lists all of his bank accounts in at least one major Dubai bank.
In 2013, when Musharraf came back to Pakistan to contest in the general elections, he declared a wealth of PKR 645.011 million in assets held in and outside of Pakistan.
That amount, according to the nomination papers, was PKR 129 million more than in 2012. And there was no declaration of offshore bank accounts. But in an article written in 2013
as to how Musharraf may have acquired the wealth he declared to the election commission, Hamza Malik says that the former president frequently gives lectures in foreign universities from where he might have been making an average USD 100,000 per lecture, which is approximately PKR 1 crore. In this way, Musharraf, Malik argues, might have earned around PKR 25 crores in four years. With wise investments, he can make more.
Defending why Musharraf did not pay any taxes, Malik argues that Pakistan’s laws do not warrant their citizens to pay tax on income earned abroad.
But the Panama Papers leak shows that Musharraf lied about his wealth to his country. Questioning his wealth, the report points out that the former Pakistani army chief hails from a humble background but is now able to pay millions in salaries per month to his personal staff alone.