ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday requested a reply from the federal government regarding a petition relating to the appointment of advisors who have dual citizenship.
During the trial, National Assembly Member Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha said that according to law, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisers cannot be part of the federal cabinet then how they attend the meeting.
In his remarks, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mahmood said that advisers could not be part of the cabinet but all could be part of the subcommittee.
After a brief argument, the court adjourned the hearing and asked for a reply from the federal government within two weeks.
Speaking to the media after hearing, Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha said that it was not acceptable for people who were not chosen to make a decision for Pakistan.
The leader of the Pakistan-Nawaz Muslim League (PML-N) alleges that Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again turned away from his stand.
He said that sensitive matters were being discussed in the federal cabinet, adding that they wanted the court to make decisions in accordance with the constitution and the law.
On Saturday, 20 of PM Imran Khan’s special advisers and assistants declared their assets and citizenship. Their list of assets has been published on the official website of the cabinet of the Pakistani government. At least six special advisers stated that they had two nationalities when others announced their self-declaration of movable and immovable assets worth millions of dollars.
Details of assets owned by Pakistan cabinet members:
Shahzad Syed Qasim – Deputy Prime Minister for the Division of Power and Coordination of Marketing and Mineral Resource Development has assets in Pakistan, the UAE and the US. Its three properties in the UAE include two villas at Jumeirah Golf Estates and Sienna Lakes, Jumeirah Golf Estates and an apartment in Park Towers, DIFC – all worth Dh20,688,000 (Rs942 million). He also has three cars in the UAE worth Dh400,000. In the US, he has property worth US $ 865,000 (Rs 144 million) while he has Rs 4 billion in various local and foreign bank accounts and pension funds including US $ 2.1 million.
Nadeem Babar – Special Assistant Oil Division Nadeem Babar has assets worth more than Rs2.7 billion, including several properties in Pakistan and abroad and has a stake in more than 30 local and foreign companies.
Zulfi Bukhari – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, has more than Rs 2 billion. He has four talented or heritage properties in Pakistan. His property in England (flats, furniture and paintings) is worth £ 5.28 million (Rs1 billion). He has four luxury vehicles in the UK, worth more than £ 578,000 (Rs121million) and one Toyota Land Cruiser in Pakistan. He also has around Rs357million in banks and cash and around Rs482m in business capital.
Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind – Assistant PM at the Ministry of Water, Electricity and Petroleum Resources in Balochistan, Sardar Rind, has total assets worth Rs812 million. Rind’s property at the Spring Residential UAE Villa in Dubai and apartments in Dubai International City are worth Rs75million.
Tania Aidrus – Pakistani Digital Assistant PM Tania Aidrus owns four overseas properties – two in the US and one each in the UK and Singapore – with a value of Rs454 million. Properties in Singapore and the US are under mortgages. He has no property in Pakistan. His bank accounts both in Pakistan and abroad are worth Rs25m. He has a Toyota Fortuner.
Asim Saleem Bajwa – PM Assistant for Information & Broadcasting Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa owns property worth Rs158 million – two in Islamabad, two in Karachi, two in Lahore and each in Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur.
Shahbaz Gill – Assistant Political Communication PM Shahbaz Gill has a total of 118 million including more than Rs2.6 million at local banks while more than Rs31 million at JPMorgan Chase in the US and joint family accounts at Busey Bank (US) which have Rs1, 6 million.
Moeed Yusuf – Assistant PM of National Security and Strategic Policy Planning Dr. Moeed Yusuf has total assets of Rs109 million. He has two cars worth Rs8.54m including the Audi A3 – both of which were received as gifts.
Mirza Shahzad Akbar – Accountability Assistant Shahzad Akbar, together with his partner, owns property worth Rs72 million.
Usman Dar – PM Assistant for Youth Affairs Usman Dar has nearly Rs62 million including Rs35m cash in hand and Rs20m in banks and investments in shares.
Shehzad Arbab – PM Advisor for the Company owns assets worth Rs100 million, including houses, plots and shops.
Nadeem Afzal Gondal – PM Assistant for Parliamentary Coordination Nadeem Gondal owns land worth more than Rs7.8 million and residential property worth more than Rs9.4 million. Its business capital is Rs 2.5 million.
Ali Nawaz Cloud – Assistant PM Capital Development Affairs Ali Awan owns property in Pakistan worth Rs39 million. He has no property abroad. Its business capital reaches Rs5,6 million.
Zafar Mirza – Assistant PM for National Health Services and also the Minister of State, Dr. Zafar Mirza has assets worth Rs50.7 million, including a house worth Rs20 million and two plots worth Rs30 million.
Sania Nishtar – PM Assistant for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Sania Nishtar, together with her husband, has a total bank balance of Rs14.8 million.
PM Khan’s asset advisor
None of the five advisers have foreign citizenship, according to official documents. The following details their assets:
Hafeez Shaikh – Counsel for PM about Finance Dr. Hafeez Shaikh is reported to have property and assets worth around Rs300m.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain – Advisor on Institutional Reform and Savings Dr. Ishrat Hussain has a residence of Rs45 million and three properties in the US worth US $ 2.1 million. He has shares worth Rs32million and Rs3,2 million in local banks and around $ 348,000 in foreign banks.
Dr. Abdul Razzak – PM’s advisor for Trade and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood has assets worth more than Rp1.6 billion. He has shares worth Rs521million while his wife has shares worth Rs51.85 million. Together with his wife, he owns land worth Rs145m. He has Rs343m in cash and in the bank.
Malik Amin Aslam – Climate Change Advisor Malik Amin Aslam has 14 immovable assets. He has around R5.58 million in Pakistani banks and 27,011 pounds in foreign banks. He has two vehicles valued at Rs 6.5 million.
Babar Awan – Parliamentary Affairs Advisor Dr. Babar Awan has assets worth Rs110m and Rs567m cash. He also stated that property in Spain was worth Rs11 million. He has six vehicles worth Rs16.8 million.
The opposition demands resignation
Many Pakistanis praised the decision, saying the declaration showed PM Khan’s commitment to accountability and had set new transparency standards by the government. However, the move drew strong condemnation by opposition leaders over the two nationalities of the advisers.
PPP leader and National Assembly Member (MNA) Nafeesa Shah said that information about assets and dual citizenship from special advisers and assistants to the prime minister had opened a “Pandora’s Box”.
He said that giving Moeed Yousaf, an American citizen, access to sensitive issues, including national security, was a matter of concern, adding that Nadeem Babar’s stake in the oil company was a conflict of interest. “The elected prime minister has been exposed,” he said.
Senator Sherry when taking jibe at the prime minister said that Imran Khan had repeatedly said in the past that he opposed government aides, advisers, ministers who swore allegiance to other countries.
He questioned whether two citizens were building “Naya Pakistan”, adding that if PM Khan did not know, it was an issue that needed further attention.
On the other hand, the leader of Pakistan’s Muslim-Nawaz League (PML-N), Marriyum Aurangzeb also demanded the resignation of ministers and advisers to the government of PTI who held two nationalities.
A PML-N spokesperson stated that PM Imran Khan had said that those with dual citizenship could not make decisions for the country. He further asked why those with foreign passports were allowed to sit in the cabinet.