Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Why Benami?

A document has recently surfaced in which Jemima Khan, former wife of cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, appoints Mr. Saifullah Khan Niazi as her attorney to complete the transfer of 300 Kanals land in Islamabad on her behalf. The following paragraphs in this document demand special attention.

That a land measuring 300 Kanals and 5 Marlas in Khasra No. 1939 situated in the revenue estate of village Mohra Noor Tehsil and District Islamabad was purchased by Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi son of Ikramullah Khan Niazi.

The land was transferred in my name through mutation Nos.7056, 7225, 7361, 7538 by my ex- husband Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi as a "Benami Transaction", After the Seperation / Divorce between me and Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazni, I do not intend to keep the land with me.

On May 29, 2012, Mr. Imran Khan appeared in "Off the Record" a political talk show hosted by Mr. Kashif Abbasi. In reply to a question about this document, Mr. Khan repeated his position that the property was purchased by his wife because he did not have sufficient funds at the time of purchase. After the separation / divorce he sold his apartment in London and used the proceeds to pay his wife and transfer the land in his name. This is contrary to the facts documented above. The document clearly states that land was purchased by Mr. Khan and transferred to his wife's name as a Benami Transaction.

In order to bolster his position, Mr. Khan contested that he had nothing to gain from entering into a Benami Transaction. He defined a Benami Transaction as one where you purchase the land in someone else's name to save taxes. He asked what benefit would he get from such a transaction? Mr. Khan is either very naive or considers his audience to be clueless. Here is why a Benami transaction would make perfect sense for Mr. Khan.

Benami transactions are usually entered into by people who have no scarcity of resources but on paper are not worth enough to be able to afford the asset in question. They have accumulated wealth that has not been officially declared in their tax returns perhaps to save taxes or possibly because the means of income were illegal. The asset is paid for by the real owner from his undeclared wealth but the title is transferred to the Benami owner. Since the asset is not legally in the real owner's name, he does not need to declare the asset in his tax returns or justify the means for its purchase. This is the number one reason for use of Benami transactions Pakistan. It is therefore quite clear why Mr. Khan would enter into such a transaction. We already know of a source of income for Mr. Khan that he would face some problems declaring in Pakistan. The income from cricket betting that he admitted to have earned in his own book.

Mr. Khan also contradicted himself in this brief segment of the interview which he termed as an interrogation. He claimed that there was nothing to be gained from purchasing the land in his wife's name as he would have had to declare his wife and children's assets in his return. When asked as to why this property was not declared in his 2002 return as belonging to his wife, he retorted that the property was paid for by his wife and he did not need to declare it!

Mr. Khan has been heaping accusations on his political opponents without any shred of evidence for the last several months. He has positioned himself on a high pedestal from where he is hurling sleaze in all directions. However, he must remember that what is thrown straight up falls back on your face.


  1. Very informative as far as the politics of Pakistan is concerned. I Wonder why a person needs time to discuss his own property but never wasted any minute to announce what his opponents have. Such a blatant lier he is.

  2. read affidavit closely kids. 'Benami Transaction' is mentioned

  3. Here is the answer:

  4. He may be a liar, I wonder though, what you people call Nawaz Sarif and Zardari?