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Senators come up with half-truths about their assets

March 14, 2012

Pakistani senators conceal the truth about their assets.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Senators appear to have come out with half-truths about their assets, taking advantage of the absence of a mechanism to scrutinise the declarations made by legislators.

The statements of assets and liabilities for the last financial year when compared with the previous year's declarations show that most Senators, if not all, have more to conceal than reveal about the value of their assets and sources of income, including foreign remittances.

Gulshan Saeed of the PML-Q, whose Senate term expired a few days ago, disclosed in her statement that she had remitted half a million pounds (Rs72.5 million) after sale of her house in the United Kingdom, but did not mention her assets abroad.

Interestingly, she had declared in her previous year's statement to have received remittances of 20 million pounds (around Rs3 billion) without mentioning the source, but the amount seems to have disappeared somewhere over one year because it is not shown in the fresh statement.

Her assets include two houses and agricultural land on the value of Rs60 million, gold bangles weighing 1,100 tolas (12.83kg) and Rs9 million cash showing no change except in the value of gold going up from Rs44 million in 2010 to Rs60 million in 2011. She has invested an unspecified amount in stocks, national savings schemes and regular income certificates – but chose not to disclose the details.

The value of property owned by Gul Mohammad Lot of the PPP – 64 acres of agricultural land, two plots in the DHA and a flat at Silversand – dropped from Rs76.4 million to Rs39.5 million in one year. His agricultural land in 2010 was worth Rs13.9 million but it has now been priced at Rs2.5 million. The Silversand flat was valued at Rs7.5 million in 2010, but now it is worth Rs2 million.

The value of a property in the name of his wife has also declined from Rs60 million to Rs30 million.

Another property worth Rs30 million in the name of his son was mentioned in the 2010 declaration, but has been replaced this time with a note that the property has not been shown being in the name of sons.

His nine assets abroad were valued at Rs1.18 billion in 2010. While the value of his property in the UAE, including one in his wife's name, remained unchanged, the worth of a villa in Dubai dropped from Rs575 million to Rs300 million.

The value of his property in Jumeirat Tower global lakeview has come down from Rs16.10 million to Rs12 million. His investment in a factory in Jeddah has, however, increased from Rs230 million in 2010 to Rs745 million in 2011.He has a share in a flat in London which was his sole property in 2010. The net worth of his assets abroad has declined from Rs1.18 billion in 2010 to a little over Rs600 million despite a massive appreciation in the worth of investment in factory in Jeddah. He has sold out a flat in Jeddah, the value of which had been mentioned as Rs46 million in 2010.

The worth of an unspecified number of plots owned by Haroon Akhtar Khan has increased from Rs47.51 million to Rs59.43 million and that of his share in a house from Rs43.54 million, but the value of assets has also increased from Rs37.11 million to Rs49.02 million in case of plots and from Rs23.98 million to Rs28.98 million in case of the house.

His investment in stocks is over Rs306 million, holds Rs372 million cash in hand, has a liability of Rs336 million and owns no car. The worth of jewellery items owned by him has registered a six-time increase in one year and has now been mentioned as Rs1.2 million.

Mohammad Idrees Khan Safi, an independent Senator from Fata, has a family property worth Rs520 million and transport and property business of Rs200 million. He owned two cars valued at Rs4 million in 2010, but he has no car now.

Senator Malik Rasheed, also from Fata, who owned a farmhouse in al-Hamra Islamabad and a house in Kurram worth Rs4 million in 2010, now owns coal and soapstone mines whose value has been shown to be 'unlimited' in his declaration for 2011. He also owns an agricultural land in his village, but it has not been mentioned in his statement for 2011.

Sughra Imam of the PPP has assets of Rs158 million, including over 130 acres of land in Khanewal and Jhang gifted by her parents (Fakhr Imam and Syeda Abida Hussain). She has Rs13.7 million in banks, but does not own a car.

Pervez Rasheed of the PML-N has no car, house or business and all he has got is Rs124,000 in his bank account.

Maulana Mohammad Khan Shirani owns one kilogram of gold, Rs100,000 cash in hand but has no bank account and car. He has not mentioned the nature and value of property and merely said "properties are jointly inherited". A few Senators, including PPP secretary general Jehangir Badr, are technically bankrupt because their liabilities exceed the value of their assets.