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October 29, 2018

Owners of property in Dubai: Two businessmen named in FIA list included in delegation to China

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October 29, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The government has included two businessmen, named in the Dubai Leaks for owning offshore properties, in a five-member official delegation to participate in an international expo to be held in China, The News has learnt.

The five-member delegation will be accompanying Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi during his official visit to China as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming tour. The PM would also participate in the international expo, to be held early next month in Beijing, China.

A delegate, who was a PTI candidate in the 2018 general elections, is included in a list of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) having names of 374 Pakistanis who have availed the tax amnesty scheme announced under “Foreign Assets (Declaration and Repatriation) Ordinance 2018 in June this year. The report has already been submitted to Supreme Court a few days back.

In his affidavit to the FIA, he had admitted to owning one property in the UAE but declared it in the amnesty scheme. Similarly, the other delegate, a close aide to the PTI chairman on overseas affairs, is also named in the list of the FIA for owning a number of properties in Dubai.

Talking to The News on Sunday, Ali Zaidi confirmed that both the businessmen will accompany him during his tour of China. He said both are expert in their respective fields and he needs their input during various meetings he will hold during his official stay. He said both the individuals have disclosed their assets with the relevant authorities and there shouldn’t be any bar on them for taking part in the international expo.

“I have personally requested the PM to allow me to take these gentlemen along with me in China,” the minister said, adding that all the individuals would bear all their expenses of travel and accommodation from their pocket.

When contacted, the delegate, who was the PTI candidate in the elections, told The News that though he owns a property in Dubai, but he has declared the same while taking benefit of the amnesty scheme in June. To a question, he said he is among the highest taxpayers of the country, but he never remained a government servant or elected to any office as yet.

The businessman further said he has also served as PTI office-bearer for some time. Similarly, the other delegate told The News that he has submitted an affidavit to the FIA wherein he has stated that although he owns property in Dubai but disowned the list of properties sent to him for verification. He said he is a non-resident Pakistani and serving the PTI chief since April 2018 on collecting a database of overseas Pakistanis who want to contribute and invest in Pakistan.

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