FBR Withdraws Notice Issued To Palestinian Envoy After Backlash, Issues Apology

The Federal Board of Revenue withdrew its notice sent to the ambassador of Palestine after it attracted flak for putting the diplomat, who enjoys immunity under the Vienna Convention, on notice over the import of luxury vehicles.

The tax watchdog also issued an apology to the envoy for overstepping its authority and said that the 'show cause notice was not in conformity with the privileges available to the diplomats', reported Express Tribune.

“Therefore, upon FBR's directions, the Islamabad Customs has modified the seizure report and the show cause notice is also being modified accordingly. The inconvenience caused to the worthy ambassador is regretted,” it added.

The notice was issued to the envoy for allegedly importing a duty-exempted luxury vehicle and then selling it to a Pakistani businessman, causing loss to the national exchequer.

The notice was criticised by many on social media as well as political leaders. Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed on Tuesday lashed out at FBR for violating international laws and diplomatic norms.

He said that FBR directly sent a notice to the ambassador of the State of Palestine, summoned him and, confiscated two of his vehicles. He asked the government why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not take action against the FBR. “Is this the incompetence of the concerned authorities or simply bad faith?” he asked.

He further said that the FBR apologised earlier but this was not acceptable, especially at this moment when Israel is being recognised as a nation internationally.

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