ISLAMABAD: Like previous years, rich senators have apparently quoted confusing and mismatching figures in their statements of assets submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the last fiscal year.
PPP’s Senator Osman Saifullah, one of the two members of the house whose names have been highlighted in the Panama Papers, claims to have only Rs6 million abroad — in four bank accounts in Egypt and one each in the United Kingdom and United States.
On one page of his statement, Senator Saifullah claims that he has immovable property worth Rs275m in Pakistan, whereas on another page the value of his movable and immovable property is stated as merely Rs75m. He has 15 bank accounts in the country, containing Rs5.12m.
The senator, who belongs to the prominent Saifullah family, has investments worth Rs30m and other assets of Rs40.38m.
His wife has property, shares in various companies, cash and money in bank accounts worth Rs244.88m.
The other senator named in the Panama leaks, former minister Rehman Malik of the PPP, has no business in or outside the country, but owns property worth 2.5m pounds in London and a sports car worth 27,000 pounds. He did not receive any remittance from abroad during the year and had no investments in the country.
Without any house, vehicle or furniture, the only asset Senator Malik and his wife own in the country is 50 tolas of gold ornaments. He has no cash in hand, but there are Rs330,612 in his two bank accounts.
The PML-N’s Senator Abdul Qayyum, a retired lieutenant general and former chairman of the Pakistan Steel Mills, claims to have liabilities of Rs82.47m, including advance rent of Rs4.18m taken for his house in Karachi which is valued at Rs3.5m.
Senator Qayyum has property in Chakwal, a large tract of agricultural land in Rahim Yar Khan, a house in Islamabad valued at Rs10.23m and investments, cash, prize bonds and a car worth Rs45.84m.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has no business in the country or abroad, but he received the final instalment of Rs115m out of Rs500m given to his son several years back.
However, Mr Dar has made a huge investment of Rs325.74m in government bonds apart from investments and cash in banks amounting to Rs155.7m. He has four vehicles worth Rs27.7m, while he and his spouse have a house in Lahore valued at Rs45m and six acres of land in Islamabad worth Rs14.5m.
He also gave Rs61.51m in charity during 2014-15.
The PPP’s Senator Babar Awan has property worth Rs20m in Spain and several others worth Rs133.62m in Pakistan. He has Rs25m in fixed deposits and around Rs110m in banks.
His law firm is valued at Rs2.59m and five vehicles and agricultural machinery worth Rs11m. There are 13 properties owned by his wife and children, worth Rs45.04m.
Another rich senator who is a lawyer is the PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan who has 16 properties worth Rs384.36m in Islamabad and four cities of Punjab.
His wife Bushra Aitzaz, who is a successful businessperson in the LPG sector, also owns 16 properties worth Rs425m.
Apart from investments in shares and bonds, Senator Ahsan has Rs119.79m cash in hand and banks and two vehicles worth Rs3.4m.
Incidentally, according to his statement, Senator Ahsan and his spouse have different sets of household furniture, worth Rs4.5m and Rs3.5m, respectively.
She has investments of Rs13.5m and bank deposits of Rs58m.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed and his wife have no property, vehicle, jewellery or any other valuable item. Senator Rasheed has Rs233,733, while some amount has been gifted by him to his two daughters.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has declared that he has two houses. One is Islamabad is valued at Rs6.2m, but the value of one in Karachi, that he has gifted to his wife, is not mentioned.
He has a business, ‘Rabbani & Ansari Associates’, worth Rs100,000 and has made an investment of Rs63m in government securities. Senator Rabbani and his spouse have a car, furniture and jewellery worth Rs8.3m and Rs11.73m cash and in banks.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem has Rs233m in banks and property worth Rs61.85m, investments of Rs8.67m and vehicles worth Rs17.36m.
He has several other properties and his spouse has Rs58.94m in banks. They give Rs12.1m in Zakat annually.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Azam Swati is one of the richest members of the house with net worth of Rs834.22m and his wealth increased by Rs44m during the year.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2016