Zardari, Bilawal buy 300 acres of`Islamabad land for peanuts

Consistent with their “plus Taliban” agenda in the guise of “minus Zardari” campaign, notorious pro-Taliban journalists (propagandists) Ansar Abbasi and Mohammad Ahmed Noorani (a convicted sectarian worker in his past) forged the following news item:

Zardari, Bilawal buy 300 acres of`Islamabad land for peanuts

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 (The News)

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: A private company owned by President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Zardari purchased 2,460 Kanals (307 acres) of prime land in Islamabad in March 2009, valued at a CDA price of over Rs 2 billion, for a mere Rs 62 million, proving after a long wait that a 1997 NAB reference against Zardari for the same deal was justified, but had to be dropped then for lack of some missing links.

To Ansar Abbasi and Ahmed Noorani’s shame, the News was forced to publish the following statement on 7 November 2009:

Zardari land deal called neat, clean transaction

Saturday, November 07, 2009 (The News)
By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Faisal Sakhi Butt, who had been named as a key player in the Zardari-Bilawal 300-acre land purchase deal, on Friday broke his silence and issued a clarification calling the purchase of the land by the president’s company as a “neat and clean and professional business transaction.”

Faisal Butt said in his clarification. “It is relevant to mention that I am an established business man from an established business family of Islamabad, having a blotless record over the past four decades and have never been involved in any illegal business transactions. “It is further clarified that details given in the story by Ansar Abbasi about me in a neat, clean and professional business transaction from my lawful resources well within the framework of law of the land have been twisted by Ansar Abbasi for the satisfaction of his own motives best known to him.”

Butt issued a press statement in which he made no reference to the president and made a clear distinction of his deal having nothing to do with the CDA, where he is also a member of the Islamabad Development Steering Committee. Faisal Butt stressed that in the deal, all the legal requirements were met as had duly been acknowledged in the original story of The News. “I am not obliged to respond as the said transaction does not involve public property or public funds and is purely a private deal between private citizens, however, I am constrained to respond as I feel unfairly maligned and would like your newspaper to set the record straight,”

He stated, what he called the ground realities as under: (i) The land subject matter of the news item is neither acquired nor owned by CDA. (ii) The entire land is located in Zone-III of the Master Plan for Islamabad, its use is restricted strictly to set up recreational facilities. No housing society can be established in this zone and thus its price cannot be compared with adjoining areas meant for residential purposes particularly when the entire land is also still in the occupation of original owners of the area. (iii) In the news item, a reference has also been made to me being a member of the Islamabad Development Steering Committee, which is patently irrelevant and has clearly been made to confuse the readers into believing as if the mentioned deal had something to do with CDA, which is not the case at all. I am no doubt member of the said Committee but it has no nexus whatsoever with the purchase and sale of the land, which is owned by private owners not the CDA and which is subject matter of the news item designed to damage my reputation. The business deal commented upon in hostile terms is purely between private parties settled and concluded in accordance with law.”

The spokesman of the presidency Farhatullah Babar when approached by The News initially denied that President Zardari had any shares in any company by the name of Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Limited and said that these are speculative allegations. Babar, however, admitted that a case regarding Sangjani lands against Zardari was initiated in 1997 but it was closed down as there were no evidences available to prove the alleged corruption.