Sharif family lose 80% of assets, says Qureshi
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD, Dec 10:
The exile of the Sharif family to Saudi Arabia following the pardon announcement by the government, has deprived the Raiwind dwellers of their 15 assets, worth billions of rupees.
A spokesman for the government, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, told Dawn on Monday that almost 80 per cent of the Sharifs’ property had been “taken over” by the government.
According to Mr Qureshi, the 15 assets that have been taken over by the government in return for providing a safe “exit” to the Sharif family include Rs300 million in cash; industrial assets including Brother Steel Mills; Ilyas Enterprises; Hudaybia Paper Mill; Hudaybia Engineering Company; Hamza Spinning Mills; residential property including the Model Town bungalow; three houses at Mall Road Murree; property at 135 Upper Mall Lahore; a plot at Model Town Lahore; a plot at Upper Mall, Lahore; agricultural property including 10.2 kanals of land at Khanpur Sheikhupura Road Lahore; 41 acres and 7 kanals of land at Sheikhupura; 14.2 kanals of land and another 35 kanals at Bhaipharu in Chunnian and 88 kanals of land at Raiwind.
The Raiwind palace of the Sharif family, which ruled the country for almost 15 years, has however not been confiscated by the government.
Mr Qureshi dispelled the impression that there had been any underhand deal between the government and the Sharif family. He said the government had simply responded to the repeated mercy petitions filed by the Sharifs.
Contrary to what the Sharifs were pretending before the public and in their statements to the media, Mr Qureshi said they had been writing to the government including the chief executive and the president, appealing for pardon.
“We were receiving their requests for mercy in the past three to four months particularly after the courts handed over decisions against Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
These requests were renewed recently following Nawaz Sharif’s reported ailment. Mr Qureshi stated that since the chief executive had repeatedly said that he was not vindictive so he recommended to President Tarar that the imprisonment of the Sharifs be pardoned and turned into exile while the rest of the punishments including fines, forfeiture of property and disqualification should stay.
When told that the people in streets felt as if they had been betrayed by the government for allowing a safe exit to the Sharifs, the government spokesman said, “the government has actually taken a compassionate view of the situation and converted the imprisonment into exile.”
Qureshi dispelled the impression that a “deal” was ‘brokered’ either by a Saudi prince or was the exit the consequence of Saudi Arabia’s pressure.
“There has been no pressure on the government,” he clarified, adding that the Saudi authorities, who were also approached by the Sharif’s, had actually offered to the military regime in Pakistan that the country was ready to accept the family if exiled.
“The Saudi’s were also interested in treating the ailing Sharif,” he said.
He stressed that the government had agreed to the “plea bargain” remaining within the limits of law and the constitution. Mr Qureshi said none of the exiled members of the Sharif family except Mian Sharif could come back to Pakistan for a period, not known to the general himself.
Other relevant articles
Huge Sharif family assets confiscated
Assets include 5 industrial units, 5 houses, 2 plots, agriculture properties and Rs 300 million bank deposits; family leaves Pakistan; Kulsoom says she will be back in a month or two
By Tariq Butt & Shakil Shaikh
ISLAMABAD: The government has confiscated huge assets, properties and Rs 300 million bank deposits of the Sharif family, an official announcement said here on Sunday. Liabilities and encumbrances of any of these assets and properties will be cleared by the Sharif family before the takeover by the government, the announcement said.
Confiscated industrial assets include Brother Steel Mills, Hudabiya Paper Mills Limited, Hudabiya Engineering Company and Hamza Spinning Mills Limited. Residential properties include houses at Model Town, Lahore; 135 Upper Mall, Lahore; one plot at Model Town, Lahore; one plot at Upper Mall, Lahore; and three houses on Hall Road, Murree.
Agriculture properties include 10 kanal and two marla land at Khanpur, Sheikhupura Road, Lahore; 41 acres and seven kanal land at Watton, Sheikhupura; 14 kanal and two marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian; 35 kanal and three marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian; and 88 kanal land, Phubtian, Raiwind.
Following is detail of the confiscated assets of the Sharif family:
Bank deposits: Rs 300 million.
Industrial assets: 1. Brother Steel Mills; 2. Ilyas Enterprises; 3. Hudabiya Paper Mills Limited; 4. Hudabiya Engg Co; 5. Hamza Spinning Mills Ltd.
Residential properties: 1. Residential houses at Model Town Lahore; 2. 135-Upper Mall, Lahore; 3. A plot at Model Town, Lahore; 4. A plot at Upper Mall, Lahore; 5. Three houses on Hall Road, Murree.
Agricultural properties: 1. 10 kanal, 2 marla land at Khanpur, Sheikhupura Road, Lahore; 2. 41 acres, 7 kanal land at Watton, Sheikhupura; 3. 14 kanal, 2 marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian; 4. 35 kanal, 3 marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian; 5. 88 kanal land, Phubtian, Raiwind.
Important liabilities/encumbrances of any of these assets/properties will be cleared by the Sharif family before takeover by the government.
Meanwhile, after being granted pardon by the president, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and 18 members of the Sharif family left Pakistan on Sunday morning to begin their exile in Saudi Arabia, military sources confirmed to The News.
Ousted by the military last year, Nawaz Sharif struck a deal with the government when the Saudi Royal family intervened to secure his release.
The 19 members of the Sharif family were brought to Chaklala from Lahore, Karachi, Attock and Islamabad amid tight security before they boarded the waiting Saudi royal plane to take them to Jeddah.
“They left Pakistan early Sunday morning and they have reached Saudi Arabia,” military spokesman Major General Rashid Qureshi told The News. Earlier, Nawaz Sharif was taken to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) for medical check-up. Sharif was brought to the AFIC from the 16-century Attock Fort, where he was languishing for the last several months.
Eyewitnesses told The News that two coaches brought the members of the Sharif family, including Mian Mohammad Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, Mrs Saira Hussain, Mrs Abbas Sharif, Mohammad Safdar, Mariam Safdar, Asma Sharif and kids of the family, to the Chaklala Air Base at around 6.00 am. “We are not slipping out of Pakistan in the dark of the night,” Begum Kulsoom Nawaz told reporters at her Islamabad residence at 4 am, minutes before she left for the airport.
No one from the neighbouring houses or the PML workers gathered or appeared on their balconies to see the departing Sharif family. Efficient sleuths of the Islamabad administration ensured that nobody came to the place or nearby nor any irrelevant cars followed them.
Clad in a dark gown and with a smiling face she denied that the Sharif family sought exile and added they were forced to leave the country. “I will be back in a month or two or as soon as Nawaz Sharif recovers from his ailment,” she added. She said no formal written request was made to the government for sending them abroad. She however termed the family lucky to be going to the holy land. “We are being thrown out,” she claimed.
She said had the family tendered any apology the rulers should disclose it to the public. “All the best wishes for the nation and the people of Pakistan and Almighty Allah may bless them with happiness and prosperity. We will return to the country as soon as we get the opportunity,” said Kulsoom, who was flanked by Safdar, her son-in-law, and a small crowd of Muslim Leaguers.
“We are not thankful to the government for sending the Sharif family abroad,” said the newly-appointed Acting President of Pakistan Muslim League, Javed Hashmi. The mood of the Muslim Leaguers was clearly evident as only Javed Hashmi, Tehmina Daultana, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, Mushahidullah Khan and few other party leaders were present to off the family.
Kulsoom and other family members were confined under a verbal order in their F-10 rented residence since Saturday evening. Some ladies, including wives of Saifur Rehman and Mujibur Rehman, met Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and others and shared their grief.
Trucks loaded with luggage of the Sharif family followed the cavalcade which took them to 10-Corps Mess where they first time met each other. Mian Sharif, father of Nawaz Sharif, and Shahbaz Sharif, saw their jailed sons first time since October 12, 1999.
Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, told The News that it was no more possible for them to stay in Pakistan as Nawaz Sahib has been exiled to Saudi Arabia. “The life was very painful, but we are thankful to Almighty Allah for saving our lives,” he added.
Evaluation of Sharif assets soon
By Sajid Iqbal
LAHORE, Dec 10:
A valuation committee, comprising chartered accountants and a representative of the government, would determine the total worth of industrial units, agricultural land and other assets surrendered by the Sharif family to clear its liabilities, sources told Dawn on Sunday.
Chartered accountant firms have already been identified but the government has yet to nominate its representative. The committee will start deliberations next week and will take a couple of weeks to complete its work. Most of the assets surrendered by the Sharif family are expected to be liquidated after the valuation process gets completed.
Sources familiar with the business interests of Sharif family say that Hudaibia Paper Mill and Hudaibia Engineering are the only two industrials concerns surrendered by Ittefaq Group to the government. The administrative control of both the units was handed over to the government on Sunday.
The Sharif Medical City and Educational Complex will also be surrendered shortly. “These are welfare projects and are unlikely to be liquidated. There will, however be a change in the board of trustees,” sources said. Bhopattian farm, agriculture land in Raiwind and Multan and 180/181-H, Model Town, the residence of the Sharif family will also be handed over to the government. However, the Sharif family residences in Jati Umra will be retained by them.
“Ramzan Sugar Mill (Chiniot), Chaudhry Sugar Mill (Gojra) and Mehran Ramzan (Manga Road) will remain with the Sharif family and their affairs will handled by Hamza Shahbaz Sharif,” the sources said.
Hamza Shahbaz will be the only member of the Sharif family who will continue to live in Pakistan. Salman Shahbaz, the younger son of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, is expected to leave for the United States within a week or so to pursue his undergraduate studies at Boston University.
Meanwhile, Ittefaq Group has resorted to a large-scale layoff of senior executives and managers.
Govt confiscates Sharifs’ assets
From Rana Qaisar
ISLAMABAD-The government on Sunday confiscated bank deposits, industrial assets and residential and agricultural properties belonging to the Sharif family, following their exile to Saudi Arabia.
The properties and bank deposits of the Sharif family have been surrendered to the State as part of the ‘deal’ allowing them to leave the country.
The confiscated assets of the Sharif family include bank deposits of Rs 300 million, five industrial units, seven residential properties (including all units at Model Town, Lahore), and 60 acres of agricultural land.
“The liabilities/encumbrances of any of these assets/properties will be cleared by the Sharif family before take-over by the government,” an official statement, issued here after the departure of the Sharif family, said.
President Rafiq Tarar pardoned Nawaz Sharif from serving the rest of his lengthy sentences on hijacking and tax evasion charges for which he was jailed earlier this year.
Large fines, the forfeiture of property worth almost 10 million dollars and Nawaz’ disqualification from public office for 21 years would remain.
Press Secretary to the Chief Executive and the ISPR Director General, Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi, told The Nation that these assets would be adjusted against the confiscation of properties and fine as ordered by the courts in plane conspiracy and helicopter cases.
Nineteen members of the Sharif family had been exiled to Saudi Arabia after the President, on the advice of the Chief Executive, had pardoned the remaining jail term of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He was awarded life imprisonment in plane conspiracy case and 14 years’ rigorous imprisonment in helicopter case.
However, the punishment including fine, forfeiture of property and disqualification from public office would remain in place.
This includes fine of Rs 500,000 and forfeiture of property worth Rs 500,000,000 in plane conspiracy case, and Rs 20,000,000 fine and 21 years disqualification from any public office.
“I don’t know exactly about the worth of these assets,” Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi said when asked to know the estimated value of the assets and properties surrendered by the Sharif family.
He said the President had given relief to the Sharif family on their own request. “They had requested for it.” Qureshi said there was a provision in the law that the President could grant clemency to the convict, if requested for. “Everyone has the right to seek relief.” To a question that Asif Zardari could also be pardoned and allowed to leave the country, he said: “Every case will be dealt with and considered on its own merit. There is no restriction to request for pardon. Even the murderers can request for clemency.” NNI adds: Rashid Qureshi said that pardon to Nawaz Sharif does not mean that his hands are clean.
“When corruption is proved, the corrupt has to accept it and then he seeks pardon for his sin. Nawaz Sharif committed corruption and, for this he was sentenced.” Qureshi told the BBC on Sunday.
He said the decision about ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s exile was not made at once, rather his family had formally made an appeal that Nawaz wanted to leave the country.
He said that Saudi Arabia had also requested that if Pakistan government wanted to send Sharif’s family abroad, it was willing to accept them.
Asked would others, including Asif Ali Zardari, jailed on corruption charges be set free if they seek pardon, Qureshi said decision can be made about each of such cases individually under the law if they confess their crimes and return the looted money.
He said people are exiled in the rest of the world also after conviction. However, he said a decision about the exile is made in the best interest of the nation after studying their case.
Rs 300 million
1. Brother Steel Mills 2. Ilyas Enterprises
3. Hudabiya Paper Mills 4. Hudabiya Engg. Co.
5. Hamza Spinning Mills Ltd
1. Residential house(s) at Model Town, Lahore.
2. 135 Upper Mall, Lahore
3. A plot at Model Town, Lahore
4. A plot at Upper Mall, Lahore
5. 3 Houses on Mall Road, Murree
1. 10 kanal 2 marla land, Sheikhupura Rd, Lahore
2. 41 acres 7 kanal land at Watton, Sheikhupura
3. 14 kanal 2 marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian
4. 35 kanal 3 marla land at Bhaipheru, Chunian
5. 88 kanal land at Phubtian, Raiwind
Eastern Analog says:
Are u kidding me? This is a fraction of his total holdings. Confiscation of property might hurt his ego a bit, and that too for a little while, but not more than that.
Being in jail was what was hurting him, and hes got his freedom, thanks to some nifty bartering on part of the Saudis+kulsoom nawaz. Regardless of how much property or money the govt gets out of this, the psychological victory gained by the Sharifs puts them ahead of the game.