ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: Details of assets declared by Senators to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seem to ridicule the public perception as statements by some legislators perceived to be rolling in money showed that their owned properties valued only a few million rupees.
Some even claimed they did not own any property or their multi-million properties were gifted to them by ‘unknown sources’.
Federal Minister Israrullah Zehri, who faced criticism for terming the act of burying alive of three girls in Balochistan a tribal tradition, is the richest Senator, the returns showed. He owns around 50,000 acres of agricultural lands worth several billions of rupees, mostly in Balochistan.
According to Mr Zehri’s statements of assets and liabilities submitted to the Election Commission, he owns 25,000 acres of agricultural land in Kalat, 15,000 acres in Jhal Magsi, 5,000 acres in Khuzdar and 3,000 acres in Thatta.
The value of land has not been shown in his statement. According to Mr Zehri, he inherited the land, which is yet to be distributed among his family members. Mr Zehri owns bungalows in Karachi, Islamabad and Quetta and runs a transport business and also owns a construction company. His statement shows he has Rs35 million in cash and Rs33 million in bank.
Minister for Science and Technology and JUI-F Senator Azam Khan Swati owns huge properties inside and outside Pakistan, including nine houses in Bahria Town in Rawalpindi with an estimated value of Rs180 million.
His statement shows he owns properties worth over $1.6 million in the US and two under construction residential towers in the UAE worth 20 million dirhams.
Attorney-General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa is among the 50 Senators who will retire on March 11 and is among Senators who own houses in Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kasur, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, a flour mill, flats, offices, agricultural land and residential plots.
PML-Q Senator Tariq Azim is among a few parliamentarians who have declared their assets abroad.
According to his statement, he owns a house in the UK with an estimated value of £600,000 and other assets worth £120,000. The value of his house in Islamabad is around Rs28 million.
Many, including Deputy Chairman of Senate Jan Mohammad Jamali, declared they did not own a car, suggesting they either travelled by public transport or used only luxury vehicles provided by the government.
Lawmakers who routinely used luxury cars have declared that they owned cars worth just a few hundreds of thousands of rupees. Some legislators tried to prove that they were under a heavy debt.
Senate Chairman Mohammedmian Soomro, who lives in a multi-hectare farmhouse and owns a luxury bungalow in the heart of the capital, declared the value of his immovable assets to be just Rs4.689 million.
He owns houses in Karachi, Lahore, Jacobabad, Ahmedpur and Shikarpur. Among these, two houses have been gifted to Mr Soomro by his mother while the rest were also shared by his family members. The chairman has a Toyota 1998 valuing Rs350,000 only besides Rs892,324 in bank accounts.
Deputy Chairman Jan Mohammad Jamali is among Senators who do not own a car. His immovable assets are worth Rs20.1 million, including rice mills worth Rs10 million in Usta Mohammad. Mr Jamali has declared that he operates a bank account in which he has only Rs60,000. But he said he possessed jewellery worth Rs1.38 million and furniture worth Rs200,000.
Leader of the House Mian Raza Rabbani is one of the luckiest lawmakers. He was ‘bestowed’ two properties as ‘gifts’ in posh areas in Lahore and Karachi worth Rs5 million each. He did not mention whether these properties were houses or plots and did not identify his benefactor.
Mr Rabbani’s other assets include two cars, jewellery weighing 220 tolas, Rs446,000 in bank accounts and furniture worth Rs700,000.
Leader of the Opposition Kamil Ali Agha owns a property worth Rs5.62 million along with moveable assets of Rs13.5 million. The vehicle he owned and furniture and money in his bank accounts was valued at just a ‘few’ million rupees.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Senator Babar Awan is also among senators who have declared assets abroad. His properties inside Pakistan are worth Rs77.12 million. He has provided details about a property in Spain in which he has paid advance payment of Rs15 million. He has also declared he owns movable assets, including a law firm, worth Rs4.376 million. Mr Awan owns two vehicles and operates two bank accounts with Rs192.41 million and Rs8.383 million, respectively. He has also declared details of multi-million properties owned by his wife.
Minister for Law and Justice Farooq H. Naek has declared immovable property of Rs10.201 million including plots and houses in Karachi besides an office worth Rs1.124 million. His movable assets are worth Rs10.379 million. Mr Naek has liabilities worth Rs5.669 million, including Rs3.23 million received through a crossed cheque on the closure of a foreign currency account operated by Mrs Nusrat Bhutto as her attorney.
Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Ghauri owns properties worth Rs177.55 million and movable properties worth millions of rupees.
Minister for Housing Rehmatullah Kakar has owns an ‘inherited’ property worth Rs130 million, 25 per cent share in a Quetta hospital and two kilograms of jewellery and millions of rupees in bank but he does not own any vehicle.
He also owns millions of dollars and other foreign currency accounts in foreign and local banks. He has liabilities of $1.1 million payable to banks in the United States as loans.
PML-N’s parliamentary leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar owns immovable property in Pakistan worth Rs49.5 million while he owns a villa in the UAE for which he has paid 7.04 million dirhams. His assets also include four vehicles, two of them Mercedes. His other assets are worth millions in investments and bank accounts. There is no liability on Mr Dar.
Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Javed Ashraf Qazi has declared immovable properties worth Rs19.1 million besides movable properties of Rs6.09 million and operates local and foreign currency accounts worth a few million.
Senator Talha Mahmood of JUI-F has declared his immovable property including three houses and a plot worth Rs500 million and Rs114 million movable assets. His liabilities stand at Rs150 million.
PML-Q Secretary-General Senator Mushahid Hussain owns just Rs35,000 in his own name while rest of the property including a 50-acre plot of agricultural land, a 600-square-yard plot and a luxury house in Islamabad are either owned by his wife or shared by his two brothers. A Suzuki car worth Rs300,000 is owned by his wife.
JUI-F’s Secretary-General Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri has a house and a plot worth Rs400,000 and Rs150,000, respectively, and furniture valued at Rs100,000. He has no other assets.
MQM’s Mohammad Ali Brohi is among ‘poor’ senators. He owns a house valued at just Rs600,000 and jewelry worth Rs500,000 and furniture of Rs250,000.
Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla, elected on a minorities’ seat, has no immovable property. However, she got loans and advances worth Rs147 million. Ms Chawla, however, operates bank accounts with Rs2.409 million in her name.
Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb is among the poorest of Senators with just Rs30,000 in his bank account. He has no other assets.