Missing necklace returned to Nadra

Missing necklace  returned to Nadra

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ISLAMABAD: The Natio­n­al Database and Regis­tration Authority (Nadra), finally received on Friday the long-lost necklace, which had been donated by the wife of (now) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to help the flood-affected people of Pakistan in 2010.

Nadra had reportedly paid Rs1.6 million for the necklace and the amount was equally distributed among eight brides at a mass wedding ceremony held at a flood-relief camp in Dadu.

According to Ali Arshad Hakeem, who was Nadra chairman at the time, the necklace had been purchased on the orders of then-Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and both the necklace and photographs from the marriage ceremony had been sent to the Prime Minister’s House, to be shared with the Turkish first lady.

But instead of being returned to Mrs Erdogan, the necklace remained in Mr Gilani’s possession for several years.

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ISLAMABAD: The Natio­n­al Database and Regis­tration Authority (Nadra), finally received on Friday the long-lost necklace, which had been donated by the wife of (now) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to help the flood-affected people of Pakistan in 2010.

Nadra had reportedly paid Rs1.6 million for the necklace and the amount was equally distributed among eight brides at a mass wedding ceremony held at a flood-relief camp in Dadu.

According to Ali Arshad Hakeem, who was Nadra chairman at the time, the necklace had been purchased on the orders of then-Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and both the necklace and photographs from the marriage ceremony had been sent to the Prime Minister’s House, to be shared with the Turkish first lady.

But instead of being returned to Mrs Erdogan, the necklace remained in Mr Gilani’s possession for several years.

On Friday, it was received by Nadra Director Logistics Major Amir. But the story is still far from over.

According to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the government will investigate why and on whose orders Nadra purchased the necklace; and, if at all it had purchased the heirloom, why it was not kept in the authority’s custody.

Mr Gilani admitted to possessing the necklace a day after the interior minister ordered the FIA to conduct an inquiry into the whereabouts of the necklace, which should have been in a Nadra warehouse. “Mrs Erdogan is like a sister to me. It is her necklace and has been with me since 2010,” he told Dawn.

However, in a recent statement, Mr Gilani observed that involving the FIA in this matter showed that the government wanted to indulge in ‘character assassination’.

“Once I admitted that the necklace was with me, the matter should have been resolved. Either Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or Chaudhry Nisar could have talked to me directly. I don’t think we are strangers to each other. But ‘my friends’ chose to continue with it by engaging the FIA, which clearly shows that they are interested in my media trial,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2015 

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