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‘Kasuri richer than Aziz’

November 15, 2007


Islamabad: Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri is the richest member of the National Assembly, according to an analysis of the declaration of assets submitted by MNAs.

Mr Kasuri is followed by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Mian Aslam, a member of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.

The prime minister maintains 93 per cent of his assets in the United States and Britain, said the study carried out by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) and released on Wednesday.

According to the analysis, 40 per cent of the MNAs or their families do not own a car and around 30 per cent do not own a house.

The average value of an MNA’s assets is Rs39 million, showing a growth of 45 per cent over the past four years.

Tehrik-i-Insaf of Imran Khan has the highest average asset per MNA — simply because Imran (wealth totaling Rs82 million) is the party’s only representative in the National Assembly.

The PML-N is at second position, with an average of Rs61 million per MNA, and the PML-Q occupies the third slot with Rs56 million.

Sherry Rehman, the People’s Party’s information secretary, is the richest woman MNA, followed by Tahira Asif and Tanzila Amer Cheema, both from the PML-Q.

Dr Sher Afgan Niazi, the federal minister for parliamentary affairs, has turned out to be the most efficient asset manager over the four years as his net assets — Rs500 in 2002-03 — registered a 900-fold increase to climb to Rs456, 550 in 2005-06.

Amir Muqam, the minister of state for water and power, made the most dramatic turnaround by turning his net liabilities of Rs106 million in 2002-03 into net assets of Rs74 million in 2005-06. Other efficient asset managers are Makhdoom Amin Faheem and Dr Attiya Inayatullah.

The Pildat praised MNAs for “setting a good example of transparency by declaring their assets”. It recommended that the election commission should have the capability to analyse these asset declarations. It also suggested that asset declarations of other members of society should also be published.

The source of information for the report was “The Gazette of Pakistan”, published by the election commission on Oct 20, 2003; Oct 16, 2004; Nov 18, 2005, and Oct 31, 2006.

The study put the average value of the assets of an MNA at Rs199 million in 2002-03, Rs200 million in 2003-04, Rs31 million in 2004-05 and Rs38.53 million in 2005-06.

The higher figures for 2002-03 and 2003-04 would come down to Rs26.6 million and Rs27.3 million if the assets of one MNA — Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt, a PML-Q MNA from Vehari with assets totalling Rs.59.11 billion — are disregarded.

The average value of assets owned by non-Muslim MNAs (Rs18 million) is 53 per cent lower than the overall average (Rs38 million), based on figures for 2005-06.

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has the highest average value of assets per MNA. In other words, an MNA from ICT is the richest, followed by Punjab, Fata, Balochistan, Sindh and NWFP.

In terms of percentage share of the combined value of assets, Punjab topped the list with 73 per cent of the combined assets which is far greater than warranted by their number (54 per cent) in the National Assembly. This means that in terms of the collective wealth of MNAs, Punjab is the richest province/territory followed by Sindh (11 per cent), Balochistan (4 per cent), NWFP (4 per cent), ICT (5 per cent) and FATA (3 per cent).

Among the parties, Tehrik-i-Insaf topped the list in terms of average wealth of its MNAs as its lone MNA, Imran Khan, had the highest assets (Rs82 million in 2005-06). The PTI is followed by PML-N (average Rs61 million), PML-Q (Rs56 million), PPPP (Rs34 million), MMA (Rs16 million), MQM (Rs4 million) and Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party (Rs300,000).

Industries Minister Jehangir Khan Tareen, a PML-Q member from Rahimyar Khan, was the fourth richest MNA with assets amounting to Rs453 million. Aijaz Ahmed Chaudhry (Mandi Bahauddin) was fifth with Rs388 million.

Nazir Ahmed Jatt (Vehari), owned assets worth Rs59 billion in year 2002-03 — 86 per cent of the combined value of assets of all MNAs. The value of his assets remained almost unchanged between 2002-03 and 2003-04.

He was the richest MNA for the first two years of the current National Assembly. However, his reported assets have fallen considerably after 2003-04. Nazir Jatt runs a construction business in Saudi Arabia.

Four out of the five richest MNAs hail from Punjab and are members of the ruling PML-Q. The other, of the MMA, belongs to Islamabad.

The figures represent the assets owned by the MNAs and members of their immediate families.

Ms Naheed Khan a PPPP member elected on women’s quota, has been consistent in being one of the poorest MNAs during the past four years. She was the poorest MNA during 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 with net liabilities of Rs7.6 million, Rs9.48 million and Rs11.36 million.

Maulana Noor Mohammad, an MMA member from Quetta, was the poorest MNA after Naheed Khan.

RICHEST & POOREST: Both Punjab and the Frontier province have two members each on the list of poorest MNAs while Balochistan has one.

The three richest MNAs in Balochistan are Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan Nasir, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind and Zobaida Jalal. Maulana Noor Muhammad, Imrana Khawar and Mahmood Khan Achakzai are the three poorest MNAs from the province.

Mir Zafarullah Jamali, the former prime minister, was one of the three poorest MNAs from Balochistan in 2002-03.

In NWFP, Ms Zeb Gohar Ayub, Maulvi Abdul Haleem and Amir Muqam are the three richest MNAs in descending order. Amir Muqam was the poorest MNA in the country in 2002-03.

Sabir Hussain Awan, Mufti Abrar Sultan and Maulana Muhammad Qasim are the three poorest MNAs from the NWFP.

In Punjab, Khurshid Mehmud Kasuri (NA 140, PML-Q), Shaukat Aziz (NA 59, PML-Q) and Jehangir Khan Tareen are the three richest MNAs in descending order. Ms Naheed Khan, Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed and Khurram Munawar Munj are the three poorest.

In Sindh, the People’s Party’s Sherry Rehman and Makhdoom Amin Fahim are the two richest MNAs. Khalid Ahmed Lund, of the PML-Q, is at number three. Ms. Ruqia Khanum Soomro (PPPP), Abdul Waseem (MQM) and Khurshid Afghan (PML-F) are the three poorest.

Sherry Rehman is the richest woman MNA, followed by Tahira Asif and Tanzeela Amir Cheema.

In PPPP, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Ghulam Murtaza Satti and Makhdoom Amin Fahim were the three richest MNAsr.

In PML-Q, Khurshid Mehmud Kasuri, Shaukat Aziz and Jehangir Tareen are the three richest..

The three wealthiest legislators in the Majlis-i-Amal were Mian Muhammad Aslam, Maulvi Abdul Haleem and Sahabzada Abulkhair Muhammad Zubair.

A total of 121 MNAs _ 36 per cent of the Assembly’s strength _ declared in 2005-06 that they or their families did not own a car. Ninety-two members (27 per cent) said in the same year that they or their families did not own a house.