Amin Qasim Dada, the man wanted in the NICL scam, is a part of a big group of wheeler-dealers who are masters of plundering the nation’s wealth in an organised manner and enjoy links in the entire spectrum of the establishment, be it politicians, Army officials, bureaucrats or the media.
They have made trillions by manipulating the stock exchanges, usurping prime national assets in the name of privatisation, forging land records and getting prized government deals.
The connections of this otherwise unknown man are so deep that he has suddenly become the most protected man of the country.
Why would a shrewd operator like DG FIA Waseem Ahmed risks his own skin and faces the ire of the Supreme Court and protects him in a case being covered on a daily basis by the entire print and electronic media.
Does anyone still talk of the manipulated crash of stock markets? Thousands of small and medium sized investors lost their life savings and had to sell their homes to pay their liabilities. Many became heart patients and several died in shock. Only once in its entire history did the SECP (Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan) stood upto the call of its duty; named the manipulators of market and produced record of the misdeeds which earned, a few big fish, hundreds of billions at the cost of small investors.
The then SECP Chairman Dr Tariq Hasan did know well the connections of plunderers with military dictator General Musharraf and one of the most powerful ministers in his government. The honest chairman was shown the door on an Eid day. After his departure, the commission’s friendly management dutifully cleared all records of the SECP to save the powerful culprits.
A National Assembly Standing Committee kept on and on with their investigation leading to nothing and ultimately was given a shut up call by their military boss. “The don of this group of looters and plunderers is shrewd enough to keep all the parties on his side. Apart from investing in the big political players, the Don has also created a pool of investors belonging to Army and bureaucracy who invest their black money in his every venture from stocks to land and these are the people who protect him and his operators whenever they are in any trouble,” the source said, adding, “The Don has a full syndicate working for him which has members from all circles of influence.”
It is said that these connections worked the best in the past government of the dictator where PM was on their beck and call; the dictator gave long interviews to cover the misdeeds of this syndicate and condemned the SECP chairman for exposing their crimes. Not only did they get a field day at the stock exchanges, they were equally involved in the farce of privatisation, which had started in the name of getting rid of public corporations which put burden of billions of rupees on national exchequer, but ultimately was used to handover of prized revenue earning public assets at throwaway prizes.
Only a brief probe into the beneficiaries of recent years privatisation will reveal a lot and this can only be done by the apex court and no one else. Quite a few valuable assets were passed on to the syndicate without much notice by anyone. It was only because everyone in the syndicate got their due share, otherwise these deals were no less damaging than Pakistan Steel.
Just one case will prove the point. A mega housing and commercial project on more than 1,250 acres, valued to earn more than Rs100 billion, is about to be launched. Where from this huge piece of land came in the centre of Karachi. During the privatisation scandal of Musharraf era, the state lost a prime national asset.
Located in the prime area, it was a profitable state-owned industry but was sold in 2005 for merely a few billions. The entity included the land of 1,250 acres, used for mining. The plant of the asset was closed in the coming years. The land was converted for residential/commercial use, which could not be done legally, but was somehow maneuvered. As per law, the mining lease is not to be treated as incurring any right over the land use and the land becomes a provincial property if no more required for the specific mining purposes.
The Privatisation Commission needs to explain as to how the beneficiary party was allowed to close down the running industry; how they were given commercial title over a land meant for mining; and why the cost of such precious land not properly calculated in valuation of the asset being privatised? Sounds quite similar to Pakistan Steel case?
Let us see if our honourable Supreme Court brings back the 100 billion worth of looted asset.
The same syndicate was involved in the land scams of Gwadar, where there was no settlement land record and most of the land was government owned. The land records were manipulated bringing thousands of acres in private names and sold to innocent buyers by creating a hype about the future of Gwadar Port. The Ports and Shipping Ministry was also bought over to hand over the port operations in a dubious manner.
The same syndicate similarly manipulated the record of land from Keti Bandar to Gharo and created a hype selling off the barren and for millions of rupees an acre to innocent buyers who are now stuck with it. A “wadera” of Gharo-Keti Bandar was controlling all corrupt revenue officials under his thumb.
Where is the “wadera” now? Emboldened by his ability to purchase officials and maneuver his way to big loot of national wealth, he tried to befool Dubai authorities. He bribed an official and bought a property of AL-Nakheel, a real estate company of Dubai government, at half the actual price. The matter got exposed and the “wadera” was thrown behind the bars, now on bail with his passport confiscated by Dubai authorities living in virtual detention for the past two years.
Not deterred by the failure in Dubai, the syndicate’s chief kept on maneuvering his way in Pakistan, looting the national wealth at will with his collaborators in corridors of power. Now closely working with the top boss of the ruling party, he has already made it to top contracts in Sindh, a mega real estate game on thousands of acres of government land. It is heard that a gift of cement plant (earlier got in privatisation) has exchanged hands to make the higher authorities happy.