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Vawda owns properties in Central London

Top Story

December 17, 2018

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water Resources and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda owns properties in parts of Central London but he stresses these properties have been made through completely legal means.

A look at the website of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shows that Faisal Vawda has declared owning assets in swanky areas of London. The declaration form filled by Faisal Vawda shows that he has mentioned prices of 5 properties in British pound Sterling as owned by him. Of the five prices mentioned, three addresses can be confirmed as owned by Faisal Vawda including an apartment at 19-20 Hyde Park Place; an apartment at 292 Elgin Avenue and an apartment at 177 Quadrangle Tower near Edgware Road.

Two prices mentioned in the ECP nominations for two properties in Pounds are £575000 and £885000 but the addresses against these two prices are not clear and cannot be read because the ECP has over-written the addresses of two properties. The price for Elgin Avenue is given as £320,000; price of 19-20 Hyde Park Place is given as £849,000 and £584,350 for the Quadrangle apartment.

A look at the prices given for these locations and addresses shows that the price declared before the ECP by Faisal Vawda is far less than the actual price of these flats. The price value of each flat on 19-20 Hyde Park Place, opposite to Hyde Park, and the locality ranges from £1.3 million to £1.5 million. Price for an apartment at the 292 Elgin Avenue ranges from around £700,000 to £1,000,000 depending on the number of bedrooms. Each apartment in the Quadrangle Towers (including 177 Quadrangle) is between the range of £1 million to £1.7 million, depending on the condition and size of apartments.

It’s understood that Faisal Vawda mentioned the prices before the ECP which could be the price when these properties were purchased years ago. UK’s land registry record shows that “Fesal Vawda” of William James Estate Agents Ltd, 54 Edgware Road, Marble Arch, London W2 2EH, bought Flat 2, 292 Elgin Avenue, London (W9 1JS) for the stated price of £320,000 on August 1, 2007.

The Hyde Park Place address of Faisal Vawda is two minutes walking distance from the office managed by Hasan Nawaz Sharif and near to the residences where Pervez Musharraf and Rehman Malik live in London. The Quadrangle high-rise apartments, behind Hilton Hotel on Edgware Road, are owned by mainly rich Pakistanis and Arab Sheikhs. It’s in the same tower block where at least 15 leading Pakistanis (including politicians, property tycoons and businessmen) own apartments. One of the first meetings of London Plan in 2014 was held in one of the Quadrangle flats.

Elgin Avenue is located in the heart of celebrity district of St Johns Wood and Maida Vale, house to leading figures from the BBC, Hollywood and Arabs from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Faisal Vawda has said on media that he has already declared all his properties with the ECP and had nothing to hide.

Faisal Vawda has been engaged in war of words with former federal Minister Abid Sher Ali after the PML-N leader released several videos from London locations claiming that these properties were owned by Faisal Vawda and urged Faisal Vawda to show money trail and receipts of how payments of these properties were made.

Faisal Vawda responded to claims by Abid Sher Ali and challenged him to show proofs that he owned “eight” properties in London. Faisal Vawda has accused Abid Sher Ali of lying that he owned eight assets in London.

“I don’t own 8 properties in London and I challenge Abid to prove that. I do own assets in London and I have declared these before the ECP and there is no issue around that. I have made my money through legal means and these properties were bought through legal businesses. It’s unfortunate that the PML-N leader tried to defame me by going around London and making videos,” he told media.

Faisal Vawda spoke after Abid Sher Ali released three videos from outside the apartments of Faisal Vawda. He said that each property is worth several millions. A research by The News shows that Abid Sher Ali gave exaggerated prices of these properties but he was right that these properties are located in expensive areas of London.

Abid Sher Ali claimed that Vawda has attained a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) from Prime Minister Imran Khan but Vawda responded by saying that Abid Sher Ali was a “maniac” and making baseless allegations against him.

Vawda has said that he and his father never held a public office and their sources of income are legal. “Faisal Vawda must explain money trail and source of income, I challenge him for a debate,” said Abid Sher Ali.