The modest self-declarations of our legislators make for fascinating reading.
Both the poorest and the richest members of the National Assembly belong to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), according to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
PPP’s Noor Alam Khan appears to be the richest member of the National Assembly as his net worth values well over Rs3.5 billion. Khan declared that two of his properties are valued at Rs3.5 billion and Rs8 million respectively, he has Rs1.6 million in his bank account and has transferred Rs1 million to an unspecified person. He also possesses jewellery weighing 2,340 grams, runs no business and owns a 1997 model Toyota car, the value of which he chose not to mention.
The second richest MNA is PPP’s Mehboobullah Jan from Kohistan (NA-23). His net worth of assets decreased slightly from Rs3.27 billion in 2008-2009 to Rs3.19 billion in 2010.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is the third-richest MNA, with assets close to Rs2 billion. Abbasi, whose net worth was Rs1.63 billion in 2008-09 and rose to Rs1.99 billion in 2009-10, runs a private airline.
Former federal minister for industries and production Jehangir Khan Tarin, of the PML-Functional, is also amongst the richest lawmakers. His assets, worth Rs1.09 billion in 2008-09, dropped slightly to Rs1.06 billion in 2009-10.
PPP’s Jamshed Dasti, who returned to the National Assembly through by-polls after he resigned on charges of holding a fake academic degree, is among the poorest public representatives.
Dasti claims that he has no moveable or immoveable assets and only has one back account in a bank branch inside the Parliament House building from where he draws his monthly salary as the MNA.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has declared his total worth at Rs19.4 million, which includes two bank accounts in Barclays Bank with savings of Rs7.9 million and Rs5.01 million respectively.
Gilani valued his residential house in Multan at Rs6.3 million only and claims that he owns no car or any other agricultural or business property. He said that on June 30, 2009, his assets were worth Rs18.9 million while a year later, they stood at Rs19.4 million. This modest increase, he explained, was due to his savings from his salary. During the year, he received Rs0.97 million, of which he spent Rs0.4 million and saved Rs0.57.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman
JUI-F chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman owns a house in DI Khan. He is the fifth stake holder in this house. He also owns a house in Shorkot which is worth Rs2.5 million. Rehman also has a bank balance of “Rs403,000”.
PML-N leader, Chaudhry Nisar owns six plots in different cities, a house, 98 canal land in Faiz Abad and 430 canal land near Chakri. He also owns a Mercedes and a Pajero. Nisar also has a bank balance of Rs9.3 million.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi
PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is the owner of 2 houses worth Rs13.2 million and 90 acres of land. He also owns a vehicle worth Rs26 million. His bank balance is Rs46
million. The PML-Q leader is the owner of 50 ounces of gold as well.
Prime Minister Gilani
Prime Minister Gilani has total declared assets worth Rs19.4 million while his bank balance is “Rs12.9 million”. He apparently does not own a car.
ANP chief, Asfandyar Wali owns a house “worth Rs4 million”, 66 acres of agricultural land worth Rs30 million, a vehicle worth Rs500,000 and bank balance of “Rs40,000”.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2011.