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October 7, 2012

Pakistani politician buys Tony Blair’s family home


October 7, 2012

LONDON: A Pakistani politician has bought a house from former Prime Minister Tony Blair after outbidding dozens of millionaires who were vying to buy the house due to the political significance attached to the Edwardian property.
Dr Ashraf Chohan, a Pakistani professional with interests in nursing homes and real estate, paid £1.3 million to Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair, a human rights lawyer, for their house near his clinic in Marylebone, an exclusive London area, only a stone’s throw from Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Rehman Malik’s properties in nearby Park Lane and Marble Arch areas. Incidentally, Dr Chohan belongs to PML-N and was a Punjab assembly lawmaker from Gujranwala until the dual national Pakistanis were barred from holding a public office.
The Blairs had put the property on market for over 6 months and although there was a huge interest in the sale from the property hunters who make business out of places linked to celebrities, Dr Chohan stunned everyone when he gave an offer that the Blairs found hard to refuse.
The market price of the house is stated to be £1.3 million in papers but it’s understood that in every such sale, tens of thousands of Pounds are paid under the table to win the deal.
When reached for comment, the estate agent, who negotiated the sale of the house, refused to answer whether any amount in cash had been paid to the Blairs but it is believed that the deal was finalised after Tony Blair told the estate agent that he was interested in the offer put up by the Pakistani doctor.
Speaking to ‘The News’ Dr Chohan commented that when he heard about the Blairs’ were selling their home through press reports, he didn’t even think about bidding for it because of the huge interest the property was receiving.
“Then I was told that property hunters were trying to play hard and negotiate the price and taking their time to see the interest trend in the house. I made an offer to the Blairs they

found difficult to turn down and the deal was done.
“Doing business with notables is a joy in itself and it has been interesting to see how this deal has attracted so much attention. When Pakistanis do good in public life, this helps to lift the image of the country of their origin. I always tell my clients and business people that I am a proud Pakistani and my motherland sets my direction,” he said.
Dr Chohan has been a neighbour to the Blairs for several years. “It has been shocking to see children of Tony Blair doing their own shopping, cycling around like ordinary children, having no protocol to them. We would hardly see children of ministers in Pakistan mixing with anyone other than their own class. The Blairs have been very good neighbours, always courteous.”
Since the deal was finalised two weeks ago, Dr Chohan’s new home has received huge attention from media. He has been interviewed about the purchase of the house and the questions to him have focused on whether he will sell the house at an even an inflated price, his connections with Blairs and his decision to buy the house from a leader who remains deeply controversial.
Tony Blair and his wife have recently been in news for their interest in real estate investment and it is believed that that they own properties worth £14 million. Dr Chohan, who came to Britain 22 years ago from Pakistan, owns 6 properties around and in central London and his worth stands at around £17 Million.
Tony Blair currently lives a few streets away from the property he has sold to the Pakistani doctor in a £3.7 million mansion on Connaught Square. Scotland Yard’s armed officers provide round-the-clock protection to the Blair family due to his role in the Iraq war.

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