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DubaiLeaks: How politicians, their children and Army generals have stashed millions in Dubai while Pakistan struggles for Roti and Bijli

The data further revealed that Mohsin Naqvi’s wife owns a 5-bedroom villa in Arabian Ranches in Dubai. She did not declare the said property in Naqvi’s Senate nomination papers. The villa was bought in 2017 for AED 4,347,888 (PKR 329 million), and was sold in April 2023 for AED 4,550,000 (PKR 344 million).

On 14th May, a global investigative journalism project titled ‘Dubai Unlocked’ exposed how Pakistani politicians, their children, and military generals acquired millions of dollars worth of properties in Dubai. The revelation came at a time when the hostile neighbour was facing economic hardships and political instability, with millions of citizens in poverty and food scarcity. The people of Pakistan are facing food and electricity shortages along with never-ending high inflation. Hashtag Dubaileaks treanded on social media discussing the report.

The investigation was initiated by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS) and coordinated by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). It unveiled ownership details of luxury properties in Dubai. Though the findings were not limited to Pakistan and the total value of properties owned by Pakistanis was estimated at USD 11 billion, only 2.5% of the total exposure, it holds significance as the general people of Pakistan face extreme poverty while the politicians and military generals kept investing in real estate abroad.

Several prominent names from Pakistan surfaced during the investigation including the children of President Asif Ali Zardari, Hussain Nawaz Sharif, wife of Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, Sharjeel Memon and his family, Senator Faisal Vawda, Farah Gogi, Sher Afzal Marwat, and several Members of the National and Provincial Assemblies. The list also included names of late Gen Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, numerous retired generals, a police chief, an ambassador, and a scientist.

Source: occrp

Notably, President Zardari received a foreign property as a gift in 2014. He declared it in 2018 but before that gifted it to an unknown entity. Another notable case mentioned in the list was of Abdul Ghani Majid who is a business tycoon and co-accused in a fake accounts case with Zardari. Interestingly, he declared a property of Rs PKR 329 million in 2014 and mentioned that he gifted it to someone. At that time, Majid did not mention who was the recipient. During the investigation, it was found that Majid bought a penthouse in 2014 worth PKR 329 million and gifted it to Zardari who later gifted it to his daughter.

The data further revealed that Mohsin Naqvi’s wife owns a 5-bedroom villa in Arabian Ranches in Dubai. She did not declare the said property in Naqvi’s Senate nomination papers. The villa was bought in 2017 for AED 4,347,888 (PKR 329 million), and was sold in April 2023 for AED 4,550,000 (PKR 344 million).

The report further mentioned properties owned by the Altaf Khanani network. Notably, the US has sanctioned it in a money laundering case. Khanani’s family members own multiple properties in Dubai. Three of the family members are under sanctions. Another criminal named in the leaks is Hamid Mukhtar Shah, a physician sanctioned by the US for involvement in human trafficking. He also owns multiple properties in Dubai.

Indians topped the list of property owners followed by Pakistanis, but while Indians are mostly business owners, Pakistani names features criminals and govt officials

The report highlighted that the elites of Pakistan diverted large amounts of wealth to Dubai exacerbating the economic disparity back home. The data shows that Indians lead the ownership of properties in Dubai with 35,000 properties listed under the names of Indians and these properties are valued at USD 17 billion. Pakistanis are the second number and own 23,000 properties worth approximately USD 11 billion.

While almost all Indian names that appeared in the list are genuine, the political, military and criminal names from Pakistan have sparked a debate in the debt-ridden country. Speaking about Indians, two names catch the eyes, that are of Nirav Modi, accused of scamming banks, who owns three offices in Gold Tower worth USD 1,341,900 and drug-smuggler-turned-Khalistani terrorist Jasmeet Hakimzada who owns a villa at Garden Homes Frond O worth USD 8,175,800. Sandalwood smuggler Shahul Hameed Dawood’s name also on the list. 

Poverty, anarchy and grave injustice

The stark contrast is evident in the dire conditions faced by Pakistani citizens and the country’s elite highlighting a grave injustice. The politicians and military generals amassed wealth and invested in luxury properties abroad. On the other hand, millions of Pakistanis are living in extreme poverty, food scarcity and unprecedented inflation. The protests and uprising in the regions of Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) are a reminder of how a hostile neighbour has failed to do good for its people.

The ‘Dubai Unlocked’ investigation exposed systematic corruption that fuelled economic disparity and societal unrest. A few privileged diverted national wealth to foreign havens while the masses struggled to put food on the plate. It stokes the flames of anarchy undermining any hope for a stable and prosperous Pakistan in nearby future. Pakistan survives on alms and loans received from other nations, while some chosen few keep getting rich.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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