ISLAMABAD: In the most expensive city of the country, the richest electoral candidate belongs to the Jamaat-i-Islami, a party which is known for its middle class roots.
Mian Aslam of the JI, who is contesting the NA 48 seat, is the richest contestant in Islamabad, with a declared wealth worth twice as much as what Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf has revealed in his declarations.
In complete contrast to these two, another candidate Ajmal Baloch of the PML-N is a pauper in comparison.
According to the declarations submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Jamaat -i-Islami (JI) candidate for NA-48 Islamabad urban has assets and wealth worth more than Rs1.29 billion.
As the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) candidate, he won the 2002 election but did not participate in the polls in 2008 because his party decided to boycott them.
According to his documents, he is a businessman and the net worth of his firm ‘Arsan Poultry’ is Rs980 million.
He paid Rs595,350 in taxes in 2012.
In addition, he owns three houses in Islamabad - two in F-6 sector and one in F-8.
The second wealthiest candidate among the more well-known figures who have thrown in their hat for NA 48 and NA 49 is Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf.
His net assets are worth more than Rs695 million.
However, he claims that his earnings have come from his ‘government’ jobs – in the army and then as president of the country - as he has not identified any business or any other source of income in his documents.
Mr Musharraf did not reveal if he paid any tax in 2012.
Interestingly, Mr Musharraf has stated in the document submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan that he holds a master degree and that his occupation is politics.
He has documented an impressive annual expenditure of Rs8 million and claims that his household items including furniture are worth Rs6 million.
He too is a candidate for NA-48.
In third place falls Faisal Sakhi Butt of the CDA taskforce fame, even though he is way behind Mr Musharraf in terms of wealth.
Unfortunately, it seems as if his papers have been carelessly filled in as there is no mention of his overall wealth.
An aspiring potential PPPP candidate for NA-48, Mr Butt has around Rs200 million in the form of prize bond etc, he has Rs65.77 million in banks, while his two cars are valued at Rs5.66 million and his household items at Rs1.35 million.
In addition, he claims he has livestock priced at Rs2 million but there is no mention of any agricultural land or residential property owned by him or his spouse.
He has however given his address according to which he lives in F-8 sector.
He owns two business – Building Materials (pvt) Ltd and Sakhi Butt & Sons Pharmaceutical (pvt) Ltd.
There is no information on the net worth of these companies.
Incidentally, the former ‘Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on the capital’, Mr Butt can’t get hold of his education degrees except for his matriculate certificate.
The documents submitted by him to the ECP say, “I have misplaced academic certificates of my further qualifications; attached is a copy of my matriculate certificate.”
The next wealthy contender is the probable PPPP nominee for NA-49, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who belongs to a prominent political family of Islamabad.
With a net worth of Rs161.98 million, Mr Khokhar is the only mainstream candidate to have assets abroad.
He owns a part of two properties in the UK valued at Rs8.16 million.
He also has a business titled ‘Bostan (pvt) Ltd’ on which he paid Rs782,113 in income tax in 2012.
The former adviser to the prime minister on human rights has a law degree.
Mr Khokhar owns a Land Cruiser, while his wife owns two cars of which one is a BMW.
Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, who belongs to the PML-N and has filed his nomination papers for NA-49, has a net financial wealth of around Rs115.43 million.
Self-described as MBBS doctor/agriculturist/politician, he claims he does not practice medicine and has provided a tax exemption certificate to explain why he does not pay agricultural tax.
His annual income from 450 kanals of agricultural land is Rs1 million and his annual expenditures amount to Rs1 million.
The former PPP ‘Jiyala’ who is now representing the Pakistan Tehrik--i-Insaf, and has filed the papers for NA-48, Dr Israr Shah, is worth slight less than Rs100 million.
The second PTI aspirant in NA 48, Javed Hashmi has agricultural land, urban property in Multan, small businesses, and bonds etc worth Rs81 million.
Despite possessing around 75 acres, Mr Hashmi is considered a mid-level farmer in his native land.
He paid Rs60,749 in income tax in the previous year. Anjum Aqeel Khan, who won in 2008 from NA 48, is a local resident, and has entered the race this year as well.
He owns Rs80.24 million, mainly from real estate developments in Islamabad. He has also stated that his annual income from agriculture is Rs460,000 though he paid no tax on it.
However, he did pay Rs216,637 tax on his real estate business. Next in the line in terms of wealth is his distant relative Zubair Farooq Khan, the JI candidate from NA-49, whose wealth amounts to Rs11.5 million.
Mr Farooq owns a piece of 15 kanals in E-11, valued at Rs75 million which is under litigation with the CDA. He too has a small real estate business in Islamabad.
The least two wealthy candidates in Islamabad belong to the PML-N. Both are vying for the party ticket for NA-48, as there are reports that Anjum Aqeel, who got the PML-N endorsement last time, might be dropped.
Mohammad Ashraf advocate has been living in Islamabad since the 1960s while Mohammad Ajmal Khan Baloch came to Islamabad in 1979 from Khushab.
Ashraf advocate is the first president of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, and Ajmal Baloch is a prominent trader leader.
The net wealth of both these political workers is around Rs5 million.