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The assets of MQM’s candidates for NA

April 15, 2013

Nabeel Gabol - 670 x 350 - File Photo
Former PPP Leader Nabil Gabol. — File Photo.

ISLAMABAD: The decision of Nabeel Gabol to join the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) not only serves to enhance the party’s influence in Karachi areas like Lyari but also means the inclusion of a rather well-off politician in a party mainly comprising people of working classes.

The former PPP lawmaker is likely to contest for two National Assembly seats of Karachi. The first one will be his traditional seat (NA 248) of Lyari and the second is expected to be NA 246 — a safe MQM constituency having areas like F.B. Area, Liaquatabad, Gharibabad and even Azizabad, where the party’s main office ‘Nine Zero’ is located.

According to the statement of assets he submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Mr Gabol’s net wealth stood at Rs18 million in June, 2012.

He owns a house in Phase-VI of Defence, Karachi, which has a value of only Rs2m and also an apartment in Clifton valued at Rs2m. His business firm — the Noble Security Operation (Pvt) Ltd — was worth Rs300,000 and he had Rs1.4m in his bank accounts, said the statement. He did not own any vehicle.

It said that Mr Gobal’s wife owned a car and 50 tolas of gold.

Mr Gabol had weapons worth Rs200,000. The value of his other assets stood at more than Rs4.3m and his yearly expenditure amounted to around Rs1.5m.

A certificate issued to the ECP by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said that Mr Gabol had an annual income of Rs4.9m in 2012 and that he paid Rs429,601 in taxes.

Mr Gabol’s income and tax figures saw a jump of more than 300 per cent as compared to 2011 when he paid Rs143,512 in taxes from an income of Rs1.3m.

Sohail Mansoor Khwaja, who is contesting for NA 240, is another well-off candidate of the MQM. His net wealth is around Rs58m and his properties and business alone account for more than Rs46.4m, including two properties in Canada, two flats in the UAE, two houses in the Bahria Town, Lahore, and four apartments in Clifton, Karachi.

However, the FBR certificate revealed that taxes paid by Mr Khwaja registered a sharp drop in three years — from Rs3.2m in 2010 to Rs673,924 in 2012. His income declined from Rs9.5m in 2010 to about Rs3m in 2012.

Sufyan Yousuf is the MQM’s candidate for NA 247. He was earlier elected to the parliament from NA 246. His wealth amounts to about Rs21m, but a major chunk of it comes from his mother’s house which has a value of Rs18.5m.

When he filed his statement, Mr Yousuf had Rs500,000 in his bank accounts. He paid Rs41,314 in taxes in 2012, mainly from his salary as MNA. He had a car worth Rs1.4m.

Mr Yousuf’s wife inherited 500 grams of gold. Kanwar Khalid Younus, an MQM stalwart, paid no tax in three years and his wealth statement has not been processed by the ECP.

Of the seven members of the MQM who have filed nomination papers for NA 250, Khushbakht Shujaat is the one who was elected from the constituency in the last elections. Her net wealth is Rs18.5m and she paid Rs699,094 in taxes in 2012.

Syed Ali Raza is a new entrant to politics who has filed nomination papers for NA 251. His father, Akhlaq Shah, remained MQM’s legislator for a brief period. Ali Raza is a businessman and his net assets are worth Rs10.5m.

However, the party’s main candidate for NA 251 is likely to be Waseem Akhtar who has been a member of both National Assembly and the Sindh legislature in the past. His net assets are around Rs17m and he paid Rs92,607 in taxes in 2012.

Dr Farooq Sattar — one of the most prominent leaders of the party — ranks low when it comes to the wealth of its members. His assets amounted to Rs4.4m and he paid Rs298,444 in taxes in 2012 from his salary as a minister and MNA.

Haider Abbas Rizvi, who was elected from NA 253 in the previous elections, is ineligible to contest elections this time because of his dual nationality.

Syed Faisal Sabzwari is among the hopefuls for NA 253 this time. However, the MQM has not taken a final decision in this regard.

Mr Sabzwari paid Rs78,300 in taxes in 2012 and Rs128,295 in the preceding year.

Abdul Waseem may contest for NA 243. His family owned a 120-yard house and he himself owned a 1993-model car and a motorcycle, his statement said.

The FBR certificate showed that he paid no tax in three years — from 2010 to 2012.