By Rauf Klasra.LONDON: A top federal minister of the cabinet of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was quite recently the target of frequent lethal attacks in the National Assembly.
(NA) in its last session on account of his alleged wheeling and dealing, is said to have purchased a multi million pound six bedroom luxury flat in the heart of London.
Many Pakistani politicians do own flats in the Central London, including Rehman Malik and others. Gen (retd) Musharraf recently purchased a multi-million pound flat in the locality where he is living alone these days. Now, this PPP minister is the last, not the least, addition to the list of a privileged class of politicians who own house or flat in London. Nawaz Sharif too owns a residential building at the Park Lane, facing the Hyde Park.
The huge house located adjacent to the Marble Arch area of London, has been purchased at a total cost of £4.3 million and the money was said to be transferred through a money exchange dealer based in F-10 Markaz. The money dealer whose name starts with “I” is said to have sent this huge money through illegal channels. The minister is said to have paid cash to buy this property instead of seeking any mortgage from some local bank, as it is usually done in Great Britain. Sources said that no mortgage was sought and the amount was paid in cash only to hide the identity of the minister who was buying the flat.
The political sources in London claimed that the money was sent in instalments through Hundi business, therefore the transfer of this money was not traced by the concerned agencies. The sources claimed that the minister could also face the serious charges of “money laundering” as he had sent the money in huge amounts through illegal channels instead of using the normal banking channels.
The sources said the minister, who is a member of PPP Central Executive Committee, had been visiting London quite frequently when Benazir Bhutto used to summon the meetings of his party men in 2007. The minister who used to live with some of the party people in London at their flats, was searching for a small flat since 2007 but his limited financial resources did not allow him to buy a flat there. The minister had also visited many places of London to find out a flat along with his political friends. The sources said the minister was always interested in buying a flat in London and he always talked with his friends how to buy a flat. His lifetime desire was fulfilled when he became a minister in the PPP government and he started minting money.
He was the only minister in the PPP government, whose stories of corruption had started making rounds in Islamabad. He even came under fire in the national media and the NA, but he always denied these reports and even vowed on Quran to establish his innocence. But, no one believed in his vows, which are very common in Pakistan to deceive the gullible general public.
The minister, who belongs to the suburbs of Islamabad, was so infamous in taking bribe and commissions in the deals that at one stage his name was at the top of those ministers who were set to be replaced and given some other insignificant ministry. However, Prime Minister Gilani, despite several vows to change this minister, never found a chance to reshuffle his cabinet.
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