A STORY appeared on the front page of Dawn on March 14 under the headline “Saifullahs biggest Pakistani offshore property owners”.
In the story, it was asserted that the Saifullahs, a prominent Pakistani family, were the owners of two offshore companies — Aqua Nominees Limited and Ashby Limited. These companies were further stated to be the owners of high-end real estate described as ‘The Pheasantry’, stated to be valued at 10 million pounds.
The Saifullah family in Pakistan, through their lawyers, have contended that they do not “own directly or indirectly, any of the offshore companies in Jersey or Belize” mentioned in the Dawn story. They further state that “to the extent that the [Saifullahs] own shares in offshore companies, and disclosures are required to be made by the laws of Pakistan, [they] have made the same in accordance with applicable law upon independent professional and expert advice”.
Dawn, upon further investigation in the matter, has discovered that the two property-owning companies — Ashby Limited incorporated in Belize, and Aqua Nominees Limited incorporated in Jersey — do not belong to the Saifullahs. The family instead have stakes in two companies with largely similar or identical names, Company Ashby Limited in the Seychelles and Aqua Nominees Limited, also in the Seychelles. The Saifullah family has nothing to do with Aqua Nominees Limited incorporated in Jersey and Ashby Limited incorporated in Belize.
A spokesman for Dawn has issued a formal statement: “We regret the error and apologise to the Saifullah family for incorrectly attributing to them the ownership of a farmhouse The Pheasantry and properties in Southwhich Street and Albion Street in central London, Cleeve Way, Sutton and Worcester in West Midlands.”
Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2018