'Zardari owned Pvt company purchases land at low value' | world | Hindustan Times
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'Zardari owned Pvt company purchases land at low value'

A private company purportedly owned by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal has allegedly purchased land valued at Rs 2 billion for a fraction of its worth, according to a media report in Islamabad on Tuesday.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2009 15:55 IST

A private company purportedly owned by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal has allegedly purchased land valued at Rs 2 billion for a fraction of its worth, according to a media report here today.

Three hundred and seven acres of prime land in the federal capital was bought by the President in March this year.

The land that was valued at Rs 2 billion by Capital Development Authority (CDA) was allegedly bought for Rs 62 million.

Zardari had apparently struck the deal in 1997 but it came through 15 years later.

"...After a complex process of legal cases, suits and counter-suits, between a person once declared by the then government as a front man of Asif Ali Zardari, another person believed to be closely associated with the president and a private company that is jointly owned by the president, his son and a few others," the News reported today.

A Karachi-based private company -- Park Lane Estates (Pvt) Ltd -- purchased the land near Sangjani, a 25-minute drive from Islamabad, from Faisal Sakhi Butt, who himself purchased it from Muhammad Nasir Khan, a Pakistani- American living in Houston.

"The company has 120,000 shares of which Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Ali Zardari own 30,000 shares each. Zardari is shown as a Director and his son as a member with four others who appear as members and debenture holders," the report states.
Under a ruling given by Pakistan's Supreme Court on July 31, the NRO has to be endorsed by Parliament within four months.
Musharraf issued the NRO to ensure that the PPP did not boycott presidential polls held in October 2007 that led to his re-election while still in military uniform.

If the NRO is not ratified by Parliament within the specified period, it will lapse and the corruption cases scrapped under it can be reopened.

Leading lawyer and senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan has said the law will lapse if it is not endorsed by Parliament. He also said the Supreme Court could strike down the law even if it is ratified by Parliament.

The PML-N, which did not benefit from the NRO, has consistently opposed the law.

In recent days, several other parties, including allies of the PPP, have indicated they will not back the NRO if it is presented before the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.

Presidential spokesman Babar said the PPP decided not to present the NRO in parliament after consulting its partners in the coalition at the centre.

In his address to Parliament yesterday after opposition lawmakers walked out of the House on the issue of the NRO, Gilani urged political parties not to take any steps that would harm democracy.

"I assure the House, the opposition and the people (that nothing will be done) that harms democracy, the Parliament and the system," he said.

"We shall take along everybody. Our aim is that the sacrifices of our leaders for democracy and supremacy of the Parliament bear fruit," Gilani said.

Expressing regret over the walkout by the opposition, he said: "We believe in consensus. We evolved consensus in the past and we shall do the same in future. We are talking to our coalition partners. We are evaluating all aspects."
Gilani also made it clear that the PPP-led coalition is still reviewing the NRO. "Consultations about the NRO are continuing," he said.

Before walking out of the House, opposition PML-Q and PML-N lawmakers shouted slogans, including 'NRO namanzoor' (NRO is unacceptable).

Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said: "We will not let the government bring the NRO on the agenda of the National assembly. Enough is enough, we will not let this assembly be used for this purpose."

"It is not fair that we suffer for your acts or let this Parliament suffer for your acts. Today, the judiciary is independent and if you have the courage, face the courts," he said.