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.
( Dawn, Dec 11, 2000 )
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.
( Dawn, Dec 11, 2000 )