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Report: Most Pakistani Lawmakers Fail To File Taxes

Pakistani investigative journalist Umar Cheema glances at his report prior to addressing a news conference in Islamabad on December 12.
An investigative journalism group says almost 70 percent of lawmakers in Pakistan did not file taxes last year.

In a report released on December 12, the Center for Investigative Journalism in Pakistan analyzed the tax records of 446 lawmakers.

Most of them did not file tax returns.

Umar Cheema, a journalist and author of the report, said he hoped the findings will make members of parliament more accountable to voters ahead of next year's elections.

Western donors criticize Islamabad for failing to reform its revenue-collection system.

In the nation of 180 million not a single person has been convicted of tax evasion during the past 25 years.

Few in the country see tax evasion as shameful or illegal.

The current tax system virtually exempts agriculture -- a key sector of the economy.

Based on reporting by Reuters and