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Bilawal and Aseefa Bhutto have already declared their property in Dubai: Spokesman

ISLAMABAD: In response to the Dubai property leaks, a spokesperson for the PPP chairman clarified that all domestic and foreign assets owned by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari have been declared to both the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Zulfiqar Ali Badr, the spokesperson, stated: “It is well known that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Aseefa Bibi spent their formative years in exile.”

These comments follow the release of a global investigative journalism project that exposed property ownership among the global elite in Dubai. The list features political figures, individuals under global sanctions, alleged money launderers, and criminals. Pakistani nationals on the list have assets collectively valued at approximately $11 billion.

The spokesperson explained that during her exile, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto lived in Dubai properties with her children. After her assassination, these properties were inherited by her children.

Details of the assets owned by Bilawal and Aseefa are publicly available on the ECP’s website, he added.

“Bilawal and Aseefa’s Dubai assets have been public knowledge for some time,” he said. “There is nothing new or illegal about this story. It’s more of a narrative than a scandal. Any action taken with malicious intent will be contested in appropriate forums.”

Sindh’s Senior Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon also commented: “My assets have been declared and are public knowledge.”

He asserted that the details already submitted to the ECP and tax officials are now being reported to “create sensation.”

“The properties mentioned in the report have already been declared to the ECP and the relevant tax authorities,” he said, adding that he submits asset details to the authorities annually.

Among the Pakistanis listed in the property leaks are President Asif Ali Zardari’s three children, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s wife, Sharjeel Memon and family members, Senator Faisal Vawda, Farah Gogi, Sher Afzal Marwat, four MNAs, and several MPAs from the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies.

The list also includes the late Gen Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, over a dozen retired generals, a police chief, an ambassador, and a scientist, all of whom owned properties directly or through their spouses and children.

Omni Group’s Chief Financial Officer, Aslam Masood, and his wife are listed as owners of several properties. One property, purchased in March 2013, was valued at AED 1,060,626 (Rs 80 million).

Sohrab Dinshaw is also mentioned as a property owner in Dubai, with a villa purchased in 2015 for AED 1,271,888 (Rs 96 million).

Questions were sent to all individuals mentioned, except for Aslam Masood, who is deceased.

According to the Property Leaks data, Naqvi’s wife owns a five-bedroom villa in Arabian Ranches, generating a rental income of AED 600,000 (Rs 45 million). This villa, purchased in August 2017 for AED 4,347,888 (Rs 329 million), was sold in April 2023 for AED 4,550,000.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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