Vawda slams 'propaganda' property leaks, says timing 'questionable'

"Foreign investment is expected in Pakistan; at such a time, these leaks have come to fore," says senator

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Senator Faisal Vawda addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 10, 2023. — Online
  • Vawda says report makers imposed “illegitimate tag” on all properties
  • Senator asks why leaks released after AJK’s law and order issue"
  • “Specific class”, “PTI members” removed from property leaks"

Independent Senator Faisal Vawda said Tuesday that the ‘Dubai Leaks’ was part of a propaganda, claiming that he has objection over the “timing” of the report’s release as Pakistan is about to attract foreign investment.

The project — ‘Dubai Unlocked’ — revealed that Pakistanis, more than a dozen retired military officials and their families, as well as bankers and bureaucrats, own an estimated $11 billion worth of properties in the Gulf emirate.

The politico — an ex-leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — questioned why "not a single name from the former ruling party" was mentioned in the leaks. He claimed that a few “honest personalities” were also included in the list.

He gave his reactions while speaking on a current affairs show of a private news channel. The senator went on to say that a “dossier” was being issued after “removing a specific class” from it.

Vawda further claimed that the makers of the property leaks imposed “illegitimate tag” on all properties, without separating the “legitimate” possessions in Dubai. He insisted that the properties under his ownership in Dubai “were declared”.

He said that the timing of the property leaks was questionable as the so-called revelations were made public at a time when Pakistan and its ally state — Dubai — were expecting global investments. 

The senator also questioned the release of confidential property records just after the law and order situation got disturbed in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

More than a dozen retired military officials and their families, as well as bankers and bureaucrats, own properties in upscale Dubai areas, according to data revealed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project’s (OCCRP) Dubai Unlocked project.

Among the thousands of Pakistanis who own these properties are around a dozen retired military generals, two retired air vice-marshals of the Pakistan Air Force, a serving inspector general of police (IGP), a retired president of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), a former chairman of the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL), and a serving chairman of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology.