Islamabad: Leading Pakistani newspapers and TV channels flashed the story about dual nationalities and assets of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisors and Special Assistants as a front page story.
Newspapers including Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, Dunya Newspaper, Jang, 92 newspaper said seven Special Assistants has a dual nationality, permanent residency or a green card.
The TV Channels including ARY, Geo, Samaa, Express, Dunya TV, Aaj TV, Dawn, 92 HD, GNN and others also reported it as main headline after the PTI government put the assets in Cabinet Division website.
The media gave credit to Prime Minister Imran Khan for making the assets and nationalities of Advisors and Special Assistants public despite unease of his un-elected team members in Cabinet.
Some of the Advisors and SAPMs did not want their nationalities and assets to be made public as it raised a question about their “money trail” and oaths of allegiance to foreign countries.
Some of the Advisors and SAPMs of PM Imran Khan have assets abroad. While asking overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan, the SAPMs and Advisors having millions of dollars abroad have not made any attempt to invest in Pakistan.
A journalist, Zahid Gishkori, tweeted that PM’s Special Assistant, Tania Aidrus has ZERO assets in Pakistan.
She has Canadian nationality and a Singaporean residency, raising legal questions if she could be a dual national of Pakistan under the Citizenship Act 1951.
PM Special Assistant @taidrus has had ZERO immovable assets in Pakistan. She got transferred some dollars/pounds & remittances for expenditures/pocket money/etc during her stay in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/tmB7aFvZHK
— Zahid Gishkori (@ZahidGishkori) July 18, 2020
Lawyer and TV host, Moiz Jaferii, raised a question about declarations in a satirical tweet by questioning the value of a 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser ZX for 3 million rupees as declared by Gen (r) Asim Bajwa. The vehicle is worth much more in the market. He also said that poor @sayedzbukhari was conned into buying a 2012 model in 2018 for 200 million!It’s not clear whether Moiz Jaferii is hinting at Zulfi Bukhari being conned or the SAPM is trying to hide the real value of the vehicle- unless it’s studded with diamonds and gold.
With these SAPM asset declarations, its really sad to see my fellow Pakistanis take advantage of foreigners.
— Abdul Moiz Jaferii (@Jaferii) July 19, 2020
Al Jazeera correspondent in Pakistan, Asad Hashim, also raised a questions via Twitter about “creative accounting on almost all political assets declarations, committed by everyone.” He was particularly amused to see SAPM on Information, retired Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa, deflating his 2016 Land Cruiser at Rs 30 lakh (as much as a Civic!). In another tweet, he quoted the price of the same vehicle on https://www.pakwheels.com being atleast Rs3.6 crore or atkeast 12 times more than what was declared.
There is creative accounting on almost all political assets declarations, committed by everyone, but was particularly amused to see SAPM on Information, retired Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa, values his 2016 Land Cruiser at Rs 30 lakh (as much as a Civic!). https://t.co/AZrVrJa6JS
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) July 19, 2020
A journalist and social media activist Omar Qureshi questioned the “creative” declaration of US permanent residency by Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf.
“Surely, the SAPM on National Security knows that if you have a green card then you have a green card – saying that one is “not availing residency” doesn’t really mean anything,” he tweeted.
Surely the SAPM on National Security knows that if you have a green card then you have a green card – saying that one is “not availing residency” doesn’t really mean anything pic.twitter.com/TM3F3u6M59
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) July 19, 2020
Another user pointed out the Date of assumption of office as “December 2020” by Moeed Yusuf, raising question not only about mental state of affairs of the NSA and the factual inaccuracy in the declaration.
Date of assumption of office Dec 2020?
— Mazahir (@wrath_ofthelamb) July 19, 2020
Many others questioned how National Security Advisor of Pakistan could be holding a US permanent residency.
Senator Sherry Rehman put a video clip of PM Imran Khan from his opposition days and raised a bigger question: “6 aides to the PM allegedly hold dual nationality. Pl clarify who is a dual national and who is not, because PM IK has repeatedly said he stands against govt aides,advisors,ministers who swear an oath of allegiance to another country. What happened to #MadeinPakistan?”
6 aides to the PM allegedly hold dual nationality. Pl clarify who is a dual national and who is not, because PM IK has repeatedly said he stands against govt aides,advisors,ministers who swear an oath of allegiance to another country. What happened to #MadeinPakistan? pic.twitter.com/rSIXE6zoam
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) July 19, 2020
PMLN leader Talal Chuahdry tweeted pictures of two SAPMs in love with flags of US and UK.
عمران نیازی کے محب الوطن وزیر ?? pic.twitter.com/J94kS6XiVV
— Tallal Chaudry (@Tallal_MNA) July 18, 2020