Posted by Zakaria Virk
iSLAMABAD: The ownership of the Raiwind palace spread over thousands of acres is a mystery because it has never been mentioned in the statements of assets and liabilities of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family in politics.
Even latest declarations submitted by Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, son-in-law Captain Mohammad Safdar and nephew Hamza Shahbaz to the Election Commission of Pakistan are silent on the ownership title of the huge property.
But Information Minister Pervez Rasheed told Dawn that the property was in the name of Shamim Sharif, mother of the Sharif brothers.
The statements of assets show that the Sharif brothers have much in common. Both live in houses not owned by them. Nawaz Sharif lives in a house owned by his mother while Shahbaz Sharif resides in a house owned by his spouse Nusrat.
Both use Land Cruisers gifted to them by unspecified persons. Both have multiple foreign and local currency accounts, own huge agricultural land and have investments in industrial units like sugar, textile and paper mills.
The most visible dissimilarity is the rapid growth in the value of assets owned by the elder brother and continuous decline in the value of assets possessed by the younger brother. Another dissimilarity is that Shahbaz Sharif has two properties in the United Kingdom, but Nawaz Sharif has no assets abroad.
Till the time of elections in May last year, Shahbaz was richer than Nawaz — though none of them a billionaire — but things are different now. According to the recent declaration, the value of Nawaz Sharif’s wealth has registered a six-fold increase in just 12 months to make him a billionaire for the first time.
According to statements of assets and liabilities, the net worth of Nawaz Sharif’s assets was Rs261.6 million in 2012 and of Shahbaz Sharif Rs336.9m.
In 2011, the assets of the two brothers were worth Rs166m and Rs393m, indicating an increase of Rs95.6m and decrease of Rs56.5m, respectively.
In 2013, the value of assets of Nawaz Sharif ballooned to Rs1.82bn while that of Shahbaz Sharif slipped further to Rs142m.
Incidentally, Shahbaz Sharif has more stakes abroad than in the country. He owns properties and bank account worth Rs138.28m in the UK. He has three loans worth 117.10m in Pakistani rupees in British banks.
The younger brother has not disclosed the value of five properties with net area of around 676 kanal in Lahore – all gifted by his mother.
He has Rs51.96m cash in hand and Rs7.27m in his sole bank account in the country.
Mrs Nusrat, the first wife of Mr Shahbaz, had assets worth Rs273.46m on June 30 last year. It was Rs224.56m a year earlier. She has Rs14.34m cash in hand and Rs1.95m in her five bank accounts.
The assets of Mrs Tehmina, the second wife of Shahbaz Sharif, are worth Rs9.83m. They were Rs7.64m last year.
She has five bank accounts – two in Pound Sterling, one in dollar and two in Pak rupees, but the money in these accounts is only Rs23,770. She has cash in hand and prize bonds worth Rs750,000 and two cars.
Kalsoom Nawaz, the wife of Nawaz Sharif, has net wealth of Rs235.85m, which is much less than that of Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz.
Mrs Kalsoom has land and a house in Changa Gali, Abbottabad, worth Rs63.75m, a bungalow on Mall Road in Murree worth Rs100m, 88 kanal of land in Sheikhupura worth Rs70m, jewellery of Rs1.5m and shares in family businesses.
She has Rs67,555 cash in hand and Rs55,765 in banks.
Hamza Shahbaz is wealthier than his father with net assets of Rs250.46m. He has two wives. The wealth of his first wife is Rs2.45m and that of the second is Rs9.88m.
Capt Safdar’s wealth is worth Rs14.23m. He owns a car which his wife Marium received as a gift from the UAE.