By: Kalbe Ali
ISLAMABAD: The details submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in their nomination papers by candidates for National Assembly seats reserved for women from Punjab reveal some interesting facts about their assets and sources of income. A careful study of some prominent women candidates, who were also members of the previous National Assembly, shows that like a majority of their male counterparts they do not belong to ordinary families.
Amid the ongoing controversy about fake degrees and dual nationality, Dr Donya Aziz of the PML-Q has stated in her nomination papers that she possesses a US passport.She is the only female lawmaker of the previous assembly who holds a dual nationality and is now again a PML-Q candidate for NA seats reserved for women.
She has net assets worth $102,365, mostly owned by her spouse Zaid Safdar. In her statement, Dr Aziz has also mentioned her US passport number.She survived the recent legal challenge in the Supreme Court against those lawmakers who held dual nationality, as her appeal is still pending in the court. In her appeal, she has claimed that the law does not prevent naturalised foreign citizens from becoming lawmakers in Pakistan. She has mentioned in her documents that her birthplace is the US.
She lives in her parent’s residence in Pakistan and has no business inside or outside Pakistan and her main source of income in previous years was her salary as an MNA. She also stated that she had paid Rs57,064 tax in 2012.Dr Atiya Inayatullah, a PML-Q candidate, has stated that her occupation is ‘human development volunteer’, but her net financial worth is Rs212.01 million with no business venture in or outside the country. Among her household items is a generator valued at Rs640,000.She paid Rs1.62 million in terms of tax 2012, mainly on account of shares and on her bank accounts.
Another PML-Q candidate for NA seat is Nosheen Saeed, who said in her statement that she was a freelance columnist and paid Rs59,580 tax in 2012. She owns a house in F-7/3, Islamabad, and the net value of her assets was Rs109.53m.Another NA candidate is Ms Bushra Rehman. She is the owner of a company named Bore Master. She is a writer by occupation and her qualification is MA, BEd. Her total assets are Rs4.67m, including a Corolla 2011 and a Mercedes 1982 car, not usable as mentioned in the statement submitted to the ECP. She has a house in New Garden Town, Lahore, and in E/7, Islamabad, but the total value of both the residential units has been shown as only Rs830,000. Her son has $419.68 in banks.
The chief of the Benazir Income Support Programme, Ms Farzana Raja, is a PPPP candidate for the NA seat.She has four businesses and her total assets have been mentioned at Rs9.68m. Her spouse Dr Ammar Turabi has two businesses — US Hotels and US Hospitality — both in the US.Bushra Aitzaz, wife of PPP-P central leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, is an entrepreneur, who owns an LPG business, ‘Sam Gas’ and 459 kanal agricultural land.
She paid Rs812,254 income tax and Rs120,700 agriculture income tax in 2012.Her net assets are valued at Rs76.31m while that of her husband Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan Rs136.24m. She owns a 1993 Pajero and her annual expenditure is Rs1.40m.Ms Belum Hasnain of PPPP has no business and her main source of income is agriculture and property rentals. She paid Rs184,852 income tax from commercial property and Rs30,200 on agricultural income.
The total value of her assets is around Rs25.90m.Rukhsana Bangash, the Political Secretary of President Asif Ali Zardari, has nothing in material terms to her credit. In the statement submitted to the ECP, she said her belongings are items of personal use worth Rs400,00 and a gold set with gems valued at Rs650,000.Ms Fauzia Habib, a PPPP candidate, has Rs44.3m property, mostly inherited. The value of her other assets is Rs12.30m.
She has no business or agricultural land. However, a certificate issued to the ECP by the FBR said that her annual income in 2012 was Rs1.87 million and she paid Rs138,790 tax during the year.Samina Khalid Ghurki, a PPPP candidate, has two businesses. Her financial assets are worth Rs15.59m and she paid Rs111,822 income tax. She has 520 tola gold and a 2011 model SUV.
Anusha Rehman of PML-N has done LLM from the UK. She has no business in Pakistan or abroad. She has an agricultural land worth Rs17.5m, her residential house in Lahore is valued at Rs60m and a house owned by her spouse in London is worth Rs70 million. She has a 1997 model Prado, 75 tola gold jewellery and Rs500,000 cash in banks.
Tahira Aurangzeb of PML-N calls herself a social worker, has only seven tola of gold, Rs114,631 in bank, no vehicle, the value of furniture etc and articles of her personal use is Rs25,000. She owns a one kanal house valued at Rs15 million. Ayla Malik of PTI owns an in-operational business, her occupation is agriculture, and she paid Rs3,450 agricultural tax in 2012, out of Rs7m agriculture income.
She owns a Rs45m farm house in Bani Gala, Islamabad, has two cars, 150 tola gold, Rs5m cash in hand and household belongings valued at Rs7m.Fauzia Kasuri, a candidate of the PTI. She has not paid tax because she has no income, and in her occupation she has termed herself a housewife
However, her spouse owns $370,000 ‘condominium’ in the US. She has $30,000 in Bank of America, and Rs250,000 in local bank. She has jewellery worth Rs6m, personal household items, including rugs worth Rs2m.