It is generally believed that the richest men in Pakistan are the industrialist Mian Mohammad Mansha, the former president Asif Ali Zardari, and the former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif. However, a new name has recently emerged in the contention for the honour of being the richest man in Pakistan.
I am glad to report that the new rich kid on the block is none other than the humble engineer turned journalist Vaqar Ahmed. Yes Sir, the very same person who is writing these lines.
This drastic change in my fortunes happened as the assets of some of the richest individuals came to light when they had to provide this information as part their nomination papers for the forthcoming elections. The fact that these declarations come with a sworn affidavit leaves no room for doubting their veracity.
As an engineer I place my belief in numbers. I also have a strong track record in successful business dealings that reached their zenith in grade three in school, when I traded a small comb and a pencil for a powerful magnet with Ghafoor alias Goshi – a well off but not so smart kid.
All that I need now is to go through the declared assets of our Sadiq and Amin politicians and apply the same strategy of buying low and selling high
My roadmap to becoming the richest man in Pakistan commences with buying Imran khan’s Bani Gala property. Mr. Khan has declared the value of the property as Rs. 11,471,000. That figures translates, in the more commonly used terminology in Pakistan, as approximately Rs. 1.5 crores. I will make an offer of RS. 3 crore, i.e., twice the asset value. Mr. Khan being a rational man cannot say not to such a generous offer. To raise this amount, I will sell my only asset: a medium-sized apartment in Clifton, Karachi, that will fetch me about Rs. 4 crores. Now the market value of Mr.Khan’s property, even at a throwaway price, is at least ten times that much. So, I flip the property and make a cool Rs. 12 crores. I told you I had great business acumen!
I now turn my attention to the chairman of the other great party, the PPP. The young Chairman of the party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has declared the value of his residence, Bilawal House, as Rs. 3 Million. Clearly the junior does not have the brilliant financial mind of his father. He seems to think that he is living in a tent in the middle of Gobi Desert. OK, I will grant that maybe he missed a zero in his declaration and the correct value of the property is RS. 30 million or 3 crores. Since he is a good neighbour and because of his presence I have no load-shedding in my apartment, I will buy the property off him at a neighbour-friendly price of RS. 6 crores. The land price in Clifton is Rs.10 crores per Kanal. Assuming that the small residence of the humble representative of the people is built on a 10-Kanal Plot, it is worth Rs. 100 crores.
So now just with the two above deft transactions I have made a cool profit of Rs. 100 crores. All that I need now is to gothrough the declared assets of our Sadiq and Amin politicians and apply the same strategy of buying low and selling high. I expect that within a week I will be the richest man in Pakistan and maybe within a month the richest man in the world!
While this sound strategy will make me very rich, it has some seriously negative implications for our Piyara Pakistan. With such low property values, and where the richest are so poor, Pakistan will rank worse than the sub-Saharan countries on the economic index. I know that we are working hard towards this goal but we are not quite there yet. Certainly, the declaration of the assets by the richest will help us gallop towards the bottom of the list of. But where I am concerned, to use a local phrase, “Sir ji, I damn care!”
Next week I will be moving house to my new dwellings, the erstwhile Bilawal House, and all my readers are invited for a house-warming party. But as a tribute to the former owner’s honesty, I am renaming it “Honest Bill House”. Of course, I will be voting for Honest Bill in the elections, not once but many times.