Another corruption scam hits President Zardari


LAHORE: Another major corruption scam has hit the embattled Pakistani president Asif Zardari — this time for purchasing 2,460 Kanals (307 acres) of prime land in Islamabad, worth over Rs 2 billion, for a mere throw away price of Rs 62 million.

The land was purchased in March 2009 by a private company — Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Ltd — owned by Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, according to Pakistani media reports. If the Park Lane land is assessed on the basis of the rate fixed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), its market value would be around Rs 2 billion for the entire lot of 307 acres. A big chunk of land, adjacent to the President’s land, is being acquired by the CDA at this rate although Zardari and his company got it for only Rs 25,000 per Kanal, a magic deal by all standards.

According to the Form-A Annual Return of Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Ltd shows it has 120,000 shares of which Asif Zardari and Bilawal Zardari own 30,000 shares each. President Asif Zardari, who is foten described as Mr Ten Percent by the opposition parties for his past misdeeds, is shown as a Director and his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is also the chairperson of the PPP, as a member with four others who appear as members and debenture holders. Another man closely associated with Zardari, Iqbal Memon of Federal B Area Karachi, is not only the Chief Executive of the company but also reflected as its director, who owns 30,000 shares.

Three other persons with the same address as that of Iqbal Memon own the remaining 30,000 shares. Memon was himself a much wanted man on corruption charges after the dismissal of the second Benazir government in November 1996. Besides President Zardari and Muhammad Iqbal Memon, the other directors are Rahmatullah Habib, Muhammad Younus and Altaf Hussain. All these directors and Bilawal Zardari own the total 1,20,000 shares of the company as on August 31, 2008.

The sale deed was made on March 3, 2009 between Nasir Khan, represented by IHC reader Noor Muhammad and Park Lane Estates and registered by Joint/Sub Registrar Islamabad after payment of just Rs 1,240,000 as CVT. Later the revenue department issued a FARD on June 29, 2009 reflecting the sale of land by Nasir Khan to Park Lane Estates for a mere Rs 62 million. The shady purchase of the land at a throw-away price has once again raised numerous questions about the credibility of the Pakistani president and his role in acquisition of the land.

Comments are closed.


Discover more from Middle East Transparent

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading