SAPM Shahbaz Gill still on US public university payroll
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s spokesman Shahbaz Gill, who is among the main supporters of alleged foreign plots to oust Imran Khan, is himself an employee of a US public university and did not declare his salary and employment in assets submitted to the Cabinet Division.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where special assistant to Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Shabbir (Gill) is employed as a clinical assistant professor, confirmed to The News in a written response that he is still an employee. from university and his annual salary is $124,770.92. Mr. Gill, according to the university’s official response, teaches management and organizational behavior, principles of marketing and principles of retail.
In accordance with the Prime Minister’s guidelines, all Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) and advisers are required to declare their assets and liabilities to the Cabinet Division in a prescribed declaration form. However, Gill did not report salary or employment with American State University to the Cabinet Division. Although he received the salary, he did not report it to the Cabinet Division.
Apart from his employment abroad, Gill is also a permanent resident of the United States (US green card holder). He declared his permanent US residence with the Cabinet Division, but there is no mention of his salary and employment at the US public university. Nowhere in the Assets and Liabilities Form released by the Cabinet Division does it indicate that Gill declared his salary or employment abroad. He, however, declared properties in Pakistan and a house in the United States along with a certain amount (Rs. 11,900,000 and $40,000) in the debts category. The Assets and Liabilities Form issued by the Cabinet Division in July 2020 shows that Shahbaz Gill owns Land No. 406, Block F, Gulberg Residentia, Islamabad worth Rs 3,956,000. He also owns another property, Farm No302-D Block, Gulberg Greens, Islamabad. Gill and his family, according to the statement of assets and the statement, have 3.76 million rupees in cash.
He has over Rs 2.6 million in local banks, while he has a bank balance of over Rs 31 million at JP Morgan Chase in the United States, while a joint family account at Busey Bank has 1.6 million rupees, according to the documents. He owns a single property in the United States, which is under mortgage, worth Rs 13 million.
SAPM has two cars (a BMW and a Camry) worth more than Rs 6.5 million, the documents revealed. Gill, along with his family, owns gold worth Rs 5.5 million. The Cabinet Division website contains asset details for all SAPMs. Some of them have submitted asset details every year which is a public document. However, Gill reported its assets as SAPM only for the 2019 tax year. The Cabinet Division has no further details about Gill for the 2020 and 2021 tax years.
It is important to note here that after coming to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan reportedly ordered the FIA to register a case against Khawaja Asif under Article 6 for receiving a salary from a foreign company while that he was a member of the federal cabinet.
Shahbaz Gill, who is a member of Imran Khan’s cabinet and has proudly claimed in the media that he is the eyes and ears of the Prime Minister, not only received the salary of a US public university, but his form of assets and liabilities was submitted to the Cabinet division. has no mention of his employment and salary abroad. Mr Gill himself claims to have unprecedented access to the Prime Minister.
Gill is one of the closest members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s team. Not only does he have access to the PM’s home and office, but also to official documents and communication. This raises serious questions about why he did not report his employment at a US government-funded university to the Cabinet Division.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in its written response further stated, “The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is committed to academic freedom. As with all of our faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Professor Shabbir has the individual right to academic freedom to speak and express themselves. His speech and personal statements do not represent the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Shahbaz Gill received a written questionnaire as to whether or not he had declared his employment and salary as an SAPM to the Cabinet Division but he did not respond to this scribe despite repeated attempts. Later, he posted his response on Twitter.
“Geo TV: Gill Sahib, you bought land in Lahore, where does the money come from? Answer: The land was purchased in Lahore. The money was paid by cross check from my own account in Faysal Bank blue zone. Everything is declared in FBR. Second question: Do you give lectures? Answer: Yes of course I give lectures,” Shahbaz Gill tweeted.
Mr Gill further said in his second tweet: “I am a teacher. I don’t bribe, I don’t take contracts, I don’t get any salary from government and I give lectures for my hobby and I have formal permission for it. One last thing for Geo TV. I am not a corrupt person so I will not be blackmailed and will not leave Khan Sahib.
Instead of responding to this correspondent, Gill posted his response on Twitter but did not mention in his tweets about receiving a high salary from American State University and not reporting it to the division of the Firm as SAPM.