PM’s wife settles corruption case.. but how.. not details released

Here is another example of extreme corruption and nepotism.  Read and enjoy or rather pity the nation… This country deserves better. If Yousuf Raza Gilani and his wife are clean then all the details of so-call ‘setttlement’ must be made public in full.

An accountability court disposed of on Friday two corruption references against the wife of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and five other people after the National Accountability Bureau which had filed them in 2000 informed the court that the matter had been settled and charges withdrawn.

Fouzia Yousuf Gilani, Syeda Samina Abrar, Anwar Nasreen, Ziaur Rehman, Khalid Hussain and Nasreen Munawar Chaudhry were accused of obtaining two loans from the Agricultural Development Bank for their companies in the late 1980s and not returning the money.

NAB’s prosecutor general filed an application in the court stating that the matter had been settled and the accused had entered into an agreement with the bank.

He said the prosecution had decided to withdraw the charges.

According to the prosecution, the accused who were directors of the Pakistan Green Fertiliser had obtained a loan of Rs71.163 million from the ADBP in November 1987 and not returned the amount after which the National Accountability Bureau had filed a reference against them.

The second reference pertained to a loan of Rs100 million taken from the bank in July 1989 for the Multan Edible Oil Extraction company. The court had dismissed applications for acquittal in July.

The managing director of the firms, Munawar Hussain Sindhu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on March 10, 2001, while Ms Gilani and others were awarded three-year terms in absentia for failing to appear before the court.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/cases-against-pms-wife-withdrawn-by-nab-599

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Tainted banker rewarded – Zardari’s cesspool continues to take shape

Salim Raza, the banker who helped arrange President Zardari have unverified bank accounts at Citibank (facilitated money laundering) to facilitate SGS Cotecna money laundering scam is now nominated by Zardari to be the State Bank of Pakistan’s Governor replacing Shamshad Akhtar.

Of course Zardari does not forgets his friends and benefactors…… On the other hand his government has not even begin the murder investigation of Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated this month last year. Conflicting stories have surfaced with PPP leadership and Benazir’s close confidants giving conflicting accounts of what happened on that fateful day of 27 Dec 2007.

However, let’s pull back to the topic of this blog… Yes the premier banker of Pakistan (our Alan Greenspan) is to be a past money laundering facilitator as noted by the US Senate.

Read the story and enjoy or be saddened whatever suits your view!!!

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In addition to Mr. Shaukat Aziz, current Prime Minister of Pakistan, numerous former Citibankers occupy highly influential positions in the government and the private sector in Pakistan.

Citibank is one of the largest banks, and operates one of the largest private banks in the US and globally. Of the 40 private banks reviewed by the Federal Reserve during its industry wide examination of private banking in the 1990s, only one — Citibank — was reviewed in detail by Federal Reserve examiners three years in a row. It is a private bank that has struggled with a wide range of anti-money laundering issues. Although Citibank, under Shaukat Aziz’s leadership (from May 1997 to October 1999) and his successors’ has done much to tighten controls, it was beset by numerous scandals during the 1990s.

A 1999 US Congress investigation (exact reference given at end) into Citibank, provides a fascinating inside look at how Citibank helped launder the ill-gotten gains of four high profile corrupt figures: Raul Salinas, brother of the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas, Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (reproduced below), El Hadj Omar Bongo, the elected president of Gabon since 1967, and Mohammed, Ibrahim, and Abba Sani Abacha, three sons of General Sani Abacha, who was the military leader of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998.

Of the four case histories provided in the Report, the following is a complete excerpt of the Case History for Asif Zardari. The report also provides photocopies of signed documents, banks records, etc. (listed below, at the end).

[Beginning of Excerpt]
(2) Asif Ali Zardari Case History

The Facts
The second case history involves Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto was elected Prime Minister in 1988, dismissed by the President of Pakistan in August 1990 for alleged corruption and inability to maintain law and order, elected Prime Minister again in October 1993, and dismissed by the President again in November 1996. At various times, Mr. Zardari served as Senator, Environment Minister and Minister for Investment in the Bhutto government. In between the two Bhutto administrations, he was incarcerated in 1990 and 1991 on charges of corruption; the charges were eventually dropped. During Ms. Bhutto’s second term there were increasing allegations of corruption in her government, and a major target of those allegations was Mr. Zardari. It has been reported that the government of Pakistan claims that Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari stole over $1 billion from the country.

During the period 1994 to 1997, Citibank opened and maintained three private bank accounts in Switzerland and a consumer account in Dubai for three corporations under Mr. Zardari’s control. There are allegations that some of these accounts were used to disguise $10 million in kickbacks for a gold importing contract to Pakistan.

Structure of Private Bank Relationship. Mr. Zardari’s relationship with Citibank began in October 1994, through the services of Kamran Amouzegar, a private banker at Citibank private bank in Switzerland, and Jens Schlegelmilch, a Swiss lawyer who was the Bhutto family’s attorney in Europe and close personal friend for more than 20 years. According to Citibank, Mr. Schlegelmilch represented to Mr. Amouzegar that he was working for the Dubai royal family and he wanted to open some accounts at the Citibank branch office in Dubai. Mr. Schlegelmilch had a Dubai residency permit and a visa signed by a member of the Dubai royal family. Mr. Amouzegar agreed to introduce Mr. Schlegelmilch to a banker in the Citibank branch office in Dubai.

According to Citicorp, Mr. Schlegelmilch told the Citibank Dubai banker that he wanted to open an account in the name of M.S. Capricorn Trading, a British Virgin Island PIC. The stated purpose of the account was to receive money and transfer it to Switzerland. The account was opened in early October 1994.

According to Citibank, Mr. Schlegelmilch informed the Dubai banker that he would serve as the representative of the account and the signatory on the account. Under Dubai law, a bank is not required to know an account’s beneficial owner, only the signatory. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Schlegelmilch did not reveal to the Dubai banker that Mr. Zardari was the beneficial owner of the PIC [Private Investment Company: an offshore company often used to launder money], and the account manager never asked him the identity of the beneficial owner of the account. Instead, according to Citibank, she assumed the beneficial owner of the account was the member of the royal family who had signed Mr. Schlegelmilch’s visa. According to Citibank, the account manager actually performed some due diligence on the royal family member whom she believed to be the beneficial owner of the account.

Shortly after opening the account in Dubai, Mr. Schlegelmilch signed a standard referral agreement with Citibank Switzerland private bank guaranteeing him 20% of the first three years of client net revenues earned by the bank from each client he referred to the private bank.

On February 27, 1995, Mr. Schlegelmilch, working with Mr. Amouzegar, opened three accounts at the Citibank Switzerland private bank. The accounts were opened in the name of M.S. Capricorn Trading, which already had an account at Citibank’s Dubai branch, as well as Marvel and Bomer Finance, two other British Virgin Island PICs established by Mr. Schlegelmilch, according to Citibank. Each private bank account listed Mr. Schlegelmilch as the account contact and signatory. Citibank informed the Subcommittee that the Swiss Form A, a government-required beneficial owner identification form, identified Mr. Zardari as the beneficial owner of each PIC.

Lack of Due Diligence. The decision to allow Mr. Schlegelmilch to open the three accounts on behalf of Mr. Zardari, according to Citibank, involved officials at the highest levels of the private bank. The officials were: (a) Mr. Amouzegar, the private banker; (b) Deepak Sharma, then head of private bank operations in Pakistan; (c) Phillipe Holderbeke, then head of private bank operations in Switzerland (who became head of the Europe, Middle East, Africa Division in February 1996); (d) Salim Raza, then head of the EMEA Division of the private bank; and (e) Hubertus Rukavina, then head of the Citibank private bank. Mr. Rukavina told the Subcommittee staff that when he was asked about opening the Zardari accounts, he did not make the decision to open them, but rather directed that the matter be discussed with Mr. Sharma. According to Mr. Rukavina, he never heard whether the accounts were ultimately opened. Mr. Rukavina left the private bank in 1996 and left Citibank in 1999.

Citibank informed the Subcommittee staff that the private bank was aware of the allegations of corruption against Mr. Zardari at the time it opened the accounts in Switzerland. However, Citibank reasoned that if the charges for which Mr. Zardari had been incarcerated for two years had any merit, they would not have been dropped. Bank officials also believed that the family wealth of Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari was large enough to support a large private bank account, even though Citibank was not able to specify what actions were taken to verify the amount and source of their wealth. Citibank said that bank officials were also aware of the M.S. Capricorn Trading account in Dubai, and they were comforted by the fact that there had been no problems with that account. According to Citibank, Mr. Amouzegar informed his superiors that Mr. Zardari was the beneficial owner of the Capricorn account in Dubai when they were considering the request to open the accounts in Switzerland. Inexplicably, however, the Dubai account manager was apparently still operating under the assumption that the beneficial owner of the Dubai Capricorn account was a member of the Dubai royal family. Subcommittee staff have been unable to determine whether Citibank officials were unaware of or inattentive to the serious inconsistency between Citibank Switzerland and Citibank Dubai with respect to the Capricorn Trading account. Citibank also informed the Subcommittee staff that bank officials had some concerns that if they turned down the accounts, their actions may have implications for the corporation’s operations in Pakistan; however, they said they never received any threats on that issue.

Citibank told the Subcommittee staff the private bank decided to allow Mr. Schlegelmilch to open the three accounts for Mr. Zardari on the condition that the private bank would not be the primary accounts for Mr. Zardari’s assets and the accounts would function as passive investment accounts. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Holderbeke signed a memo delineating the restrictions placed on the accounts, including a $40 million aggregate limit on the size of the three accounts, and transaction restrictions requiring the accounts to function as passive, stable investments, without multiple transactions or funding pass-throughs. None of the Citibank personnel interviewed by Subcommittee staff could identify any other private bank account with these types of restrictions. Other private banks interviewed by the Subcommittee staff were asked if they had ever accepted a client on the condition that certain restrictions be imposed on the account. The banks all said they had not. One bank representative explained that if the bank felt that it needed to place restrictions on the client’s account, it didn’t want that type of client. The existence of the restrictions are in themselves proof of the private bank’s awareness of Mr. Zardari’s poor reputation and concerns regarding the sources of his wealth.

Movement of Funds. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that, once opened, only three deposits were made into the M.S. Capricorn Trading account in Dubai. Two deposits, totaling $10 million were made into the account almost immediately after it was opened. Citibank records show that one $5 million deposit was made on October 5,1994, and another was made on October 6, 1994. The source of both deposits was A.R.Y. International Exchange, a company owned by Abdul Razzak Yaqub [since then, the owner of several ARY television channels that, incidentally, have been providing favorable coverage of Ms. Bhutto’s recent political activities], a Pakistani gold bullion trader living in Dubai.

According to the New York Times, in December 1994, the Bhutto government awarded Mr. Razzak an exclusive gold import license. In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Razzak acknowledged that he had used the exclusive license to import more than $500 million worth of gold into Pakistan. Mr. Razzak denies, however, making any payments to Mr. Zardari. Citibank could not explain the two $5 million payments. Ms. Bhutto told the Subcommittee staff that since A.R.Y. International Exchange is a foreign exchange business, the payments did not necessarily come from Mr. Razzak, but could have come from a third party who was merely making use of A.R.Y.’s exchange services. The staff invited Ms. Bhutto to provide additional information on the M.S. Capricorn Trading accounts, but she has not yet done so.

On February 25, 1995, a third deposit of $8 million was made into the Dubai M.S. Capricorn Trading account. Records show that the payment was made through American Express, with the originator of the account listed as “Morgan NYC.” Citibank indicated it does not know who Morgan NYC is, nor does it know the source of the $8 million.

All of the funds in the Dubai account of M.S. Capricorn Trading were moved to the Swiss accounts in the Spring of 1995. On March 6, 1995, $8.1 million was transferred; and on May 5, 1995, another $10.2 million was transferred. Both transfers involved U.S. dollars and were routed through Citibank’s New York offices. Citibank informed the Subcommittee staff that M.S. Capricorn Trading closed its Dubai account shortly after the last transfer was completed.

Citibank has indicated that significant amounts of other funds were also deposited into the Swiss accounts. As described below, the $40 million cap was reached, and millions of additional dollars also passed through those accounts. However, Swiss bank secrecy law has prevented the Subcommittee from obtaining the details on the transactions in the Zardari accounts.

Account Monitoring. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that, in 1996, the Swiss office of the private bank conducted a number of reviews of the Zardari Swiss accounts, finally deciding in October to close them.

The first review was allegedly in early 1996, triggered by increasing publicity about allegations of corruption against Mr. Zardari. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Messrs. Holderbeke, [Salim] Raza, Sharma and Amouzegar participated in the review, and apparently concluded that the allegations were politically motivated and that the accounts should remain open. The Subcommittee staff was told that the review did not include looking at the accounts’ transaction activity.

In March or April, 1996, Mr. Amouzegar asked that the overall limit on the Zardari accounts be increased from $40 million to $60 million, apparently because the accounts had reached the previously imposed limit of $40 million. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Holderbeke considered the request, but declined to increase the $40 million limit.

In June, press reports in the United Kingdom that Mr. Zardari had purchased real estate in London triggered still another review of the Zardari accounts. Citibank private bank told the Subcommittee staff that its Swiss office internally discussed the source of the funds for the property purchase. Mr. Amouzegar and Mr. [Salim] Raza then met with Mr. Schlegelmilch, who allegedly informed them that funds had been deposited into the Citibank accounts, transferred to another PIC account outside of Citibank and used to purchase the property. Mr. Schlegelmilch allegedly indicated the funds had come from the sale of some sugar mills and were legitimate. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff it is not sure if anyone at the private bank attempted to validate the information about the sale of the sugar mills. In addition, even though this account activity violated the condition imposed by Citibank that the accounts were not to be used as a pass through for funds, the accounts were kept open.

Closing the Accounts. In July 1996, after Mr. Amouzegar left the private bank to open his own company, another private banker, Cedric Grant, took over management of the Zardari accounts. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that Mr. Grant began to review the Zardari accounts about one month later to familiarize himself with them. He also reviewed the transactions that had taken place within the accounts.

In September and October 1996, press accounts in Pakistan repeatedly raised questions about corruption by Mr. Zardari and Ms. Bhutto, as Ms. Bhutto’s re-election campaign increased its activities prior to a February election date. In September, Ms. Bhutto’s only surviving brother, Murtaza Bhutto, was assassinated, and Ms. Bhutto’s mother accused Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari of masterminding the murder, because the brother had been leading opposition to Ms. Bhutto.

In October, Mr. Grant completed his review of the Zardari accounts and provided a written analysis to Messrs. Holderbeke, Sharma and [Salim] Raza, according to Citibank. Mr. Grant had found numerous violations of the account restrictions imposed by Citibank, including multiple transactions and funding pass-throughs. Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that the accounts had functioned more as checking accounts than passive investment accounts, directly contrary to the private bank’s restrictions. Apparently, well over $40 million had flowed through the accounts, though Subcommittee staff were unable to ascertain the actual amount because Swiss bank secrecy law prohibits Citibank from sharing that information with the Subcommittee. Citibank indicated that Mr. Amouzegar had either ignored or did not pay attention to the account activity. Mr. Grant recommended closing the accounts, and they were closed by January 1997.

[Note: In May 1997, Mr. Shaukat Aziz was transferred at Citibank’s New York headquarters, from his position as head of credit card operations to head of private banking. In November 1996, Mr. Farooq Laghari had dismissed the government of Ms. Benazir Bhutto-Zardari; and in February 1997, Mr. Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister.]

Legal Proceedings. On September 8, 1997, the Swiss government issued orders freezing the Zardari and Bhutto accounts at Citibank and three other banks in Switzerland at the request of the Pakistani government. Since Citibank had closed its Zardari accounts in January 1997, it took no action nor did it make any effort to inform U.S. authorities of the accounts until late November 1997. Citibank contacted the Federal Reserve and OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the banking supervision arm of the US Department of Treasury] about the Zardari accounts in late November, in anticipation of a New York Times article that eventually ran in January 1998, alleging that Mr. Zardari had accepted bribes, and that he held Citibank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland. On December 8 and 11, 1997, Citibank briefed the OCC and the Federal Reserve, respectively, about the accounts and the steps it had taken as a result of the Zardari matter. These steps included: closing all of the accounts that had been referred by Mr. Schlegelmilch to the private bank and terminating his referral agreement; reviewing all of the accounts opened in the Dubai office; and tightening up account opening procedures in Dubai, including requiring the Dubai office to identify the beneficial owner of all Dubai accounts. Citibank did not identify any changes made or planned for the Swiss office, even though the majority of the activity with respect to the Zardari accounts had taken place in Switzerland.

On December 5, 1997, Citibank prepared a Suspicious Activity Report on the Zardari accounts and filed it with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the U.S. Department of Treasury. The filing was made fourteen months after its decision to close the Zardari accounts; thirteen months after Mr. Zardari was arrested a second time for corruption in November 1996; and nearly two months after the Swiss government had ordered four Swiss banks (including Citibank Switzerland) to freeze all Zardari accounts.

In June 1998, Switzerland indicted Mr. Schlegelmilch and two Swiss businessmen, the former senior executive vice president of SGS and the managing director of Cotecna, for money laundering in connection with kickbacks paid by the Swiss companies for the award of a government contract by Pakistan. In July 1998, Mr. Zardari was indicted for violation of Swiss money laundering law in connection with the same incident. Ms. Bhutto was indicted in Switzerland for the same offense in August 1998. A trial on the charges is expected.

In October 1998, Pakistan indicted Mr. Zardari and Ms. Bhutto for accepting kickbacks from the two Swiss companies in exchange for the award of a government contract. On April 15, 1999, after an 18-month trial, Pakistan’s Lahore High Court convicted Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Zardari of accepting the kickbacks and sentenced them to 5 years in prison, fined them $8.6 million and disqualified them from holding public office. Ms. Bhutto, who now lives in London, denounced the decision. Mr. Zardari remains in jail. Additional criminal charges are pending against both in Pakistani courts.

On December 11, 1997, Citicorp’s Chairman John Reed wrote the following to the Board of Directors:

“We have another issue with the husband of Ex-Prime Minister Bhutto of Pakistan. I do not yet understand the facts but I am inclined to think that we made a mistake. More reason than ever to rework our Private Bank.”

Mr. Reed told the Subcommittee staff that it was the combination of the Salinas and Zardari accounts that made him charge Mr. [Shaukat] Aziz [currently, Prime Minister of Pakistan], the new private bank head, with taking a hard look at the bank’s public figure policy and public figure accounts.

The Issues
The Zardari case history raises issues involving due diligence, secrecy and public figure accounts. The Zardari case history begins with the Citibank Dubai branch’s failure to identify the true beneficial owner of the M.S. Capricorn Trading account. As a result, the account officer in Dubai performed due diligence on an individual who had no relationship to the account being opened. In Switzerland, Citibank officials opened three private bank accounts despite evidence of impropriety on the part of Mr. Zardari. In an interview with Subcommittee staff, Citigroup Co-Chair John Reed informed the Subcommittee staff that he had been advised by Citibank officials in preparation for a trip to Pakistan in February 1994, that there were troubling accusations concerning corruption surrounding Mr. Zardari, that he should stay away from him, and that he was not a man with whom the bank wanted to be associated. Yet one year later, the private bank opened three accounts for Mr. Zardari in Switzerland. Mr. Reed told the Subcommittee staff that when he learned of the Zardari accounts he thought the account officer must have been “an idiot.”

Citibank has been unable to confirm that bank employees verified that Mr. Zardari had a level of wealth sufficient to support the size of the accounts that he was opening. In addition, the Swiss private banker took no action to validate the legitimacy of the source of the funds that were deposited into the account. For example, there was no effort made to verify the claims that some of the funds derived from the sale of sugar mills.

Citibank also performed no due diligence on the client owned and managed PICs that were the named accountholders. Because the PICs were client-created, the bank’s failure to perform due diligence on the PICs meant that it had no knowledge of the activities, assets or entities involved with the corporations. One of the PICs, Bomer Finance, has been determined to have been a repository for kickbacks paid to Mr. Zardari, and those kickbacks tainted funds deposited at the Geneva branch of Union Bank of Switzerland. Documentation has not been made available to determine whether Bomer Finance also used its Citibank account for illicit funds.

Another due diligence lapse was the private bank’s failure to monitor the Zardari accounts to ensure that the account restrictions imposed on them were being followed. When officials were presented with evidence in 1996 that the restrictions were being violated, they nevertheless allowed the accounts to continue.

The Zardari accounts in Switzerland were opened one day before Raul Salinas was arrested. The account was repeatedly reviewed in 1996, after the Salinas scandal became public. Yet there is no evidence that anyone in the private bank had been sensitized to the problems associated with handling an account of a person suspected of corruption.

The Zardari example also demonstrates the practical consequences of secrecy in private banking. Citibank claims that its decisionmaking in the Zardari matter cannot be fully explained or documented, since all Citibank officials are subject to Swiss secrecy laws prohibiting discussion of client-specific information. In light of the fact that U.S. banks are supposed to oversee their foreign branches and enforce U.S. law, including anti-money laundering requirements, this inability to produce documentation related to a troubling case again highlights the problems with U.S. banks choosing to operate in secrecy jurisdictions.

Pattern of Poor Account Management. The Zardari case history took place during a series of critical internal and federal audits between 1992 and 1997 of the Swiss office which, during most of that time, served as the headquarters of the private bank. The shortcomings identified in the audits included policies, procedures, and problems that affected the management of the Zardari accounts. They included:

* failure of the “corporate culture” in the Swiss office to foster ” ‘a climate of integrity, ethical conduct and prudent risk taking’ by U.S. standards”;

* inadequate due diligence;

* “less than acceptable internal controls”;

* lack of oversight and control of third party referral agents such as Schlegelmilch; and

* inadequate monitoring of accounts;

all of which resulted in “unacceptable” internal audit ratings. In December 1995, the Swiss office received the lowest audit score received by any office in the private bank during the 1990s. These audit scores indicate the office’s poor handling of the Zardari accounts was part of an ongoing pattern of poor account management.

[End of excerpt]

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Source: MINORITY STAFF REPORT FOR PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS HEARING ON PRIVATE BANKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING: A CASE STUDY OF OPPORTUNITIES AND VULNERABILITIES, November 9, 1999
http://www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/110999_report.htm

The Report features as an annex toS. Hrg. 106-248
PRIVATE BANKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING: A CASE STUDY OF OPPORTUNITIES AND VULNERABILITIES, Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, November 9 and 10, 1999.
This xiv+1114 pages report is available at:
http://www.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate12sh106.html
as TEXT [424KB] and as PDF [30MB] files

It provides (on page numbers indicated) the following:
Documents relating to Asif Ali Zardari:

a. Swiss Form A identifying Asif Ali Zardari as the beneficial owner of the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in the Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland [600]…………………………………. 445 [Signed by “Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal House, Karachi (Pak)”]

b. Wire transfer records documenting transfers of $18 million into Mr. Zardari’s Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Dubai and transfers of $18.3 million out of the Dubai account into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland ……………………………………… 446

10/5/94 transfer of $5 million from A.R.Y. International Exchange into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in
Citibank in Dubai [X6903-4];

10/6/94 transfer of $5 million from A.R.Y. International Exchange into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai [X6900-2];

2/24/95 transfer of $8 million from Morgan NYC into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai;

3/6/95 transfer of $8.1 million from the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland;

5/3/95 transfer of $10.2 million from the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank in Dubai into the Capricorn Trading S.A. account in Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland;

5/4/94 record of Citibank Private Bank in Switzerland credit of $10.2 million to account of Capricorn Trading
S.A.

c. Mandate Agreement between Asif Ali Zardari and Jens Schlegelmilch concerning Bomer Finance, Inc.
[601-2]………………………………… 466

d. Mandate Agreement between Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Jens Schlegelmilch concerning Mariston Securities, Inc.
[603-4]………………………………… 468

e. British Virgin Islands Certificate of Incorporation for Capricorn Trading S.A.
[605]………………………………….. 470

f. 6/29/94 letter from Cotecna Inspection S.A., stating that if it receives a contract from the government of Pakistan for the inspection and price verification of imported goods, it will pay Mariston Securities, Inc., 6 percent of the payments made under the contract [597]………………………………….. 471

g. 12/11/97 communication from John Reed to Citibank Board, including a discussion of the Zardari matter.. 472

h. List of meetings between Mr. Zardari and Citibank personnel, provided by Citibank ………….. 474

Source: http://www.chowk.com/ilogs/64054/44106

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And if it all sounds too fascinating.. then read this story from the respected newspaper “The News” on how Swiss prosectors had to withdraw the corruption cases after the Government of Pakistan pardoned all politicians under the garb of a National Reconciliation Ordinance signed by Musharraf, the dictator.

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With the withdrawal of money-laundering charges against Asif Ali Zardari by a Geneva prosecutor on Monday, the Co-chairman of the PPP must be a very happy man today after having fought the cases in several local and international courts for more than 10 years.

Irrespective of the merit of the case, the Swiss announcement is no surprise as the government of Pakistan, which initiated the money-laundering cases against Zardari and the late Benazir Bhutto, had been struggling for some time to withdraw the charges.

Now there is no case pending anywhere in the world against the contender for the Aiwan-i-Sadr, whose proud supporters will be able to keep their heads high when they walk into the office of the Election Commission on Tuesday morning to file his nomination papers for the country’s highest post. Only Asif Ali Zardari, whose political rivals had coined the nickname of “Mr Ten Percent,” knows how much he had to suffer during all these years to get a clean chit and become “Mr Clean.”

The money-laundering charges against Zardari were taken seriously by the international banking circles and the governments in 1999 when US Congress launched an intensive investigation into the allegations of money-laundering by Citibank through private banking.

A permanent sub-committee on investigation by US Congress found two cases intriguing enough to kick off a thorough probe. Nigeria’s military dictator Sani Abacha and Asif Ali Zardari’s bank accounts qualified for this investigation and US Congress found that both had been involved in money-laundering through Citibank’s negligence.

Pakistan’s former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, who was only known for his skills as a private banker before he joined Musharraf as his Finance Minister, was summoned by US Congress to appear before the committee and record his statement.

In that statement Aziz, who fled the country soon after the February 18 election results, had to disclose the number, amount, and details of the meetings that he had held with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari as a private banker.

In his written testimony submitted to US Congress, Aziz admitted that he held at least 12 meetings either with Zardari or Bhutto separately or when both of them were present. The meetings were held between January 1994 and 1998 and interestingly these were the same years when Zardari was accused of money-laundering through ARY International Exchange, according to the details of the US report.

In some of these meetings with Citibank officials, other persons such as John Reed, who became President Clinton’s top financial guru, Shaukat Tarin, William Rhodes, Paul Collins, Salim Raza, and Sajjad Rizvi also participated.

These meetings were held in Islamabad , Karachi, Davos (Switzerland), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and New York City. John Reed, who was then Citigroup co-chair, told the committee that before his trip to Pakistan in February 1994, he was advised to “stay away” from Mr Zardari for accusations of corruption which surrounded him and that “he was not a man with whom the bank wanted to be associated.”

Yet, one year later, for some unknown reasons, the American bank let Zardari open three accounts in Switzerland. Mr Reed told the committee that when he learnt of Zardari’s accounts he thought the account officer must have been “an idiot.”

Three years after the accounts opened and were operative in Swiss banks, Citicorp’s Chairman John Reed wrote to the Board of Directors on December 11, 1997: “We have another issue with the husband of ex-Prime Minister Bhutto of Pakistan. I do not yet understand the facts but I am inclined to think that we made a mistake.”

On the basis of the report findings, tougher systems were introduced in the US banking sector. However, the government of Pakistan, under the NRO, had withdrawn all cases from the local courts.

This local withdrawal was made the basis for the dropping of the cases in Swiss courts despite a voluminous investigative report by US Congress which had all the details of accounts and the route through which this money travelled to its destination.

The withdrawal of cases on Monday by the Swiss court will put an end to years of investigations. The 3.9 million Swiss francs, which were seized from these accounts, had been given to the Swiss government.

This is the same case in which former Attorney General Malik Qayyum, as judge of the Lahore High Court, had given a verdict against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. Qayyum was later booted out of the judiciary for charges of misconduct and corruption. Qayyum, however, served the PPP’s government as attorney general and appeared before the Swiss Courts on behalf of the government of Pakistan pleading the withdrawal of cases in which he himself had convicted the accused.

AP adds: The Geneva prosecutor says he has dropped money-laundering charges against PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari. He says that 3.9 million Swiss francs seized in the case are being given to the Swiss government.

Prosecutor General Daniel Zappelli’s move comes eight months after he dropped charges against the assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Zappelli noted Monday that the Pakistan prosecutor had dropped his corruption cases against Zardari. He says Geneva’s 11-year investigation has produced too little for him to continue in light of the Pakistani prosecutor’s conclusion. He says he had no choice but to close the case.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=16828

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Conclusion: A cesspool of corrupt politicians, businessmen, bankers, military men and foreign governments’ pointmen continue to destabilise, loot and plunder Pakistan.

Bring the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan back

Here is another story of the farcical de facto chief justice (CJ) who has occupied the highest seat of Judiciary unconstitutionally in Pakistan and the collusion of the PPP government to manipulate the education board (an independent institution) to get CJ’s daughter a higher grade …..   read on!

what a shame!!!

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The PPP government on Thursday aggressively blocked the parliamentary probe into the chief justice’s daughter case amid an uproar in the National Assembly committee meeting that witnessed a walkout by the government members, including the minister of state for education.

The chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Education, Abid Sher Ali, of the PML-N was not allowed to proceed as the state minister consistently pressed that the inclusion of the CJ’s daughter case in the meeting’s agenda was a violation of the rules. The State Minister, Ghulam Farid Kathia, also strongly objected to the presence of not only media persons covering the event but also that of Ansar Abbasi, Editor Investigations, The News, who was invited by the committee as a special guest to take part in the proceedings.

The whole proceedings, which included the suspension of the noisy sitting for 15 minutes and followed by walkout of the government members and even the Education Ministry mandarins, turned out to be a joke when the chairperson of the Federal Board for Intermediate and Secondary Education, Ms. Shaheen Khan, refused to brief the committee on the issue despite repeated requests by the committee chairman.

Every time she was given the floor, she said that she would not utter a word unless allowed by her secretary and the minister, who kept on pressing that the issue could not be included in the agenda of the meeting without his consultation. At her response to the committee, the chairman told her: “You are answerable to the committee and if you do not talk on the issue, then you may leave.”

The angry chairman even once announced to postpone the meeting against what he said the negative attitude of the government side but the members intervened and requested him to continue the meeting. He again asked the FBISE chairperson to tell the committee about the issue but time and again the minister interrupted him and did not let him proceed.

Chairman Abid conducted short census among the eight members of the committee out of whom four said the proceedings on this issue of public interest be maintained. The chairman, while using his discretionary power, resumed the proceedings.

State Minister for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia refused to brief the committee, saying it was not on the agenda of the committee’s meeting. However, he was of the view that the issue should be discussed in camera, not in the presence of newsmen. This irritated the chairman who observed that the issue was of immense public interest and must be discussed in the presence of the press.

The committee witnessed some rowdy scenes and exchange of harsh words between Abid Sher Ali and Ghulam Farid Kathia as well as the FBISE Chairperson Shaheen Khan, who also declined to speak without the minister’s permission.

“You are trying to sabotage this meeting by interrupting me again and again … you may leave,” Ali repeatedly told the state minister for education who argued that the issue of CJ’s daughter could not be discussed, as it was not on the committee’s agenda.

The situation remained tense, as the government side insisted that the issue be taken up some other day. Kathia was of the view that the committee chairman had not consulted him on the issue and, therefore, he was going against the rules and regulations. However, Abid Sher Ali said he had written letters to all the concerned officials, including the FBISE chairperson, to appear before the committee with all the required record.

He said the issue was of serious nature in which the top government officials were involved in misuse of powers. “But nobody is ready on this issue,” Kathia argued followed by Abid Sher Ali’s remarks: “If you are not ready, then you can leave.” However, the minister refused to do so.

The chairman of the committee said: “You are trying to block the committee to proceed in the case of high public importance and defending the corrupt. You and the government are against the voiceless students who are tens of thousands in number.” Abid Sher Ali also said that the minister was defending those who indulged in abuse of power.

On the minister’s signal, four MNAs left the proceedings and staged a walkout. One of the National Assembly’s senior officials told the minister that under such rules, the committee could not discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, sources told The News that the meeting of the committee, scheduled to continue on Friday, was postponed by the speaker National Assembly. The sources said it was an attempt to strangulate the voice of truth.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=18652

Asif Zardari (and buddies) now own KESC

The mystery surrounding the new owners of KESC, Karachi’s beleaguered power supply utility, has finally been unraveled. In a rare show of plain speaking, the top boss of Abraaj Capital with his 40 expensive executives, has made startling written confessions which may stun the nation.

In response to 35-questions sent to Abraaj/KESC’s new management, Mr Farrukh Abbas, the Chief Executive Officer of Abraaj Capital (Pak) and Mr. Naveed Ismail the Chief Executive Officer of KESC, have sent a 28-page document answering all the questions sent by The News, explaining and confirming what has so far remained part of a vicious whispering campaign in cool and cozy drawing rooms.

For instance these top executives admit that Mr Farrukh Abbas is a relative of President Asif Ali Zardari. “Mr Abbas is not directly related to the Zardari family, but is indeed through marriage,” his written response to The News states, but quickly adds: “At no time has any personal relationship played a part in Abraaj’s involvement in KESC….Abraaj spent six months doing due diligence of this deal and no favours were sought by Abraaj during the course of its negotiations with the Government of Pakistan and none were granted outside the normal course of commercial discussions aimed at reviving KESC for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Another frank admission is that the Group marketing and Communication Head of Abraaj/KESC, Mr Qashif Effendi, is also related to the Zardari family. Is this correct, Mr Abbas was asked. “They are distantly related but that relationship has no impact on the business, nor has it played any role in Mr Effendi’s known career growth,” the written response says.

Yet another shocker comes when the company chief admits that the new Chief Financial Officer of KESC, Mr Jalil Tareen, is a distant cousin and a good friend of Mr Shaukat Tareen, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance but adds: “He has obviously been hired entirely on his own merits as he also happens to have a superb track record as a highly seasoned UK-qualified chartered Accountant and senior manager in Pakistani local and multi-national businesses.”

Abraaj is a middle-east based company with over US$7.5 billionin management funds and has been operating in several countries. Its investors are predominantly from the Gulf and wider Middle East and increasingly from markets as wide as US, Asia and Europe and its management says it has an clean track record of transparent and self-regulatory conduct.

Yet the manner in which the Abraaj Group has taken over the control of KESC is highly complicated and it would take some real experts to determine how they have been allowed to run a company with 17,000 employees when they do not own one share, either of KES Power or KESC, as of today.

According to the detailed answer regarding ownership of shares, this is the exact explanation provided to The News by Mr Farrukh Abbas. It is reproduced in toto so that experts can decipher the real situation.

The question sent to Abraaj was the following: Has the transfer of 51 per cent shares between Al-Jomaih Group (KES Power) and Abraaj Capital been completed. If so when was it done?

The answer: It is important to note that there is no transfer of shares taking place in the transaction. Abraaj will subscribe for new shares in KES Group, the holding company that currently owns 71.5 per cent of KESC. As a result of this subscription for new shares, Abraaj will end up owning 50 per cent of the issued share capital of KES Power, and therefore will indirectly own 35.75 per cent of KESC. All of the capital (i.e. funds) used for the purchase of KES Power Shares will remain in KES Power and will then be injected into KESC (this is what is meant by capital injection). The total amount to be injected equals US$361 million, all of which will go directly into the business of KESC. This exactly equal the amount that has been invested in KESC by the existing shareholders Al Jomaih Group and NIG, who will continue to hold the same number of shares as before in KES Power, but will be diluted down to 30 per cent and 20 per cent ownership respectively in KES Power. As part of the agreement between Al-Jomiah and Abraaj, Abraaj will have full management control of KESC.

These top level connections to the political leadership of the country apart, the Abraaj management has already acquired the reputation of an arrogant, no-nonsense set up which does not care about the consumers of KESC or the Karachi political leadership, an attitude never seen before in any management, not even run by the army.

This became evident last week when a top Jamaat Islami delegation led by Mr Mehnti, tried to meet the top managers at the KESC office but they were not allowed on the 7th floor and security guards were called to shoo them out. A notice has been posted at the 7th floor that prior appointments are required to meet anyone.

Yet while the Abraaj management claims that these top level relationships with the political class have played no role in acquiring KESC or running it, the 28-page document submitted to The News denies these claims of not being a ‘most favoured company’, even before it has acquired the stakes.

For instance Abraaj has confirmed the following special favours given to the company in the last few months, eversince Abraaj started the due diligence process to acquire KESC. These statements of fact were made in answers to various questions in different contexts:

* While Abraaj has already taken over KESC and started running the show, the document says: “Management control of KESC will transfer fully to Abraaj once the transaction has been completed. “The Consortium agreement has been signed between Abraaj and KES Power (Al Jomaih Group, the previous owners) and there are a number of conditions precedents that need to be satisfied before the subscription of shares can take place.” So factually Abraaj has no shares in KESC as of now but has been handed over the management.

* “KES Power and the Government of Pakistan, as the existing shareholders of KESC, requested that Abraaj make its new management team available to the company prior to transaction completion”. Why the GOP was so interested in an Abraaj takeover even before the formalities and transfer of shares was completed has not been explained.

* The new senior management team was appointed and empowered by the existing Board of Directors, including the Government, through circulation without any formal Board meeting.

* “Abraaj’s entry into KESC will occur once the GOP approves a waiver to the Sales-Purchase agreement signed between the Privatisation Commission and KES Power in November 2005. The GoP has to approve the transaction and sale of new shares by KES Power to Abraaj by Nov 28, 2008 after which the shares would be available for transfer to Abraaj.”

* Although Abraaj has yet to acquire the shares, Government of Pakistan has already approved a petition awarding Disco Status to KESC which means buying Wapda electricity at 25 to 30 per cent of the current rates. This concession was denied to all previous managements of KESC for years, not given even by General Pervez Musharraf to army generals running KESC. Yet Abraaj is so influential it says: “Following consultations with the GOP, and after filing a detailed petition with NEPRA, Abraaj and KESC were able to convince the Government and NEPRA that this discriminatory treatment must be reversed and KESC must be treated on par with all the other Discos (distribution companies) in the country. NEPRA issued a determination in this regard following full consultations and hearings….It is important to note that key beneficiaries of this decision are the consumer of Karachi.” This decision would save KESC Rs30 billion in money it owes to Pepco and in future it will get electricity cheaper from Wapda.

* Regarding new concessions from the Zardari Government, Abraaj says:: “All that has been done is address actual problems and issues faced by KESC and to try and find solutions to these problems,” and significantly admits: “Some of these problems that were addressed had been lingering for years, without adequate focus from either the management of KESC or the Government….With active effort many of these problems have been solved, or at least begun to be solved..”

* In a significant claim, the Abraaj statement says: “Without active involvement from Abraaj and the new management team, many of these issues would have remained unresolved.”

* Government of Pakistan has already settled the dispute of pending payments between KESC and Wapda/Pepco on KESC’s terms. Besides the above fast track concessions, this is a major achievement as this was a lingering issue since 2004 but was resolved even before Abraaj has acquired the KESC shares. Abraaj, however, maintains that “Its (the Wapda dues) elimination does not alter KESC’s financial position and does not, in any sense, amount to a write off.”

* Abraaj and Government of Pakistan have already agreed on amendments in the Implementation Agreement which was originally signed between KESC and the Government when KESC was privatised to Al-Jomiah Group in Nov 2005. The Abraaj statement claims these amendments will “bring the agreement up to date and to clarify the support which the Government will provide (to KESC under Abraaj).”

All these decisions and agreements have been possible not because the top managers are relatives of President Zardari but because they are so smart and competent, within days and weeks they have moved the mountains and forced the bureaucratic machine to move in their favour at top speed, so that when they take over the company fully, nothing is left to decide and they can concentrate on providing electricity to the people of Karachi now burning KESC bills and shouting slogans on Karachi streets.

This smart management is being paid a huge price for this job. According to KESC insiders the total bill of Mr Abbas and his 40 executives is the same US$ 8 million which was paid to Siemens for operation and maintenance contract by the Al-Jomaih Group. But Siemens was an operations company with engineers and equipment, while these 40 executives are managers with a few engineers but no equipment.

When Abraaj was asked about this huge monthly salary tabs, ranging from Rs 1 million at the lowest level to Rs 5 million for the chief executive, plus the perks, Abraaj’s written response was: “Compensation for the new management team has been approved by the Board of Directors of KESC and is paid by the company. The Government of Pakistan’s Directors have also approved the compensation to be paid to the CEO.”

But Abraaj refused to confirm or deny the figures saying: “Being a public company, the total salary costs for the CEO and the management team will be disclosed in the annual audited accounts but at this stage it is sufficient to say that they are competitive and commensurate with comparables available in the corporate sector of Pakistan.”

The statement, however said: “The numbers quoted by you are incorrect,” yet at another point in the statement, Abraaj says: “These individuals did not join KESC for salary inducements, rather they left lucrative professional careers elsewhere in order to be able to turnaround KESC and participate in a story that hopefully will have a beneficial impact on the lives of millions of people.”

This last statement is amusing as nowhere in the world any corporate executive leaves a lucrative job to “participate in a story” to impact millions of lives. That basically is politics.

Source: http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=18070

Timo Glock conspires to handover F1 GP Championship to Lewis Hamilton

Well the Brazilian GP is over and without sounding too negative, it must be said that the sudden powering down of Timo Glock car in the last lap was very fishy.

Addendum: One has to have a look at the sector timings specially last two as I am still not sold that Timo played it fairly.

Nothing must be taken away from Lewis Hamilton and Philipe Massa who both competed brilliantly and it was one of the most exciting F1 championship in the recent times.

Killing the Golden Goose

Here is another example of the current economic mismanagement and the continued incompetence of the governement and taking decisions without due consideration.

In an apparent bid to overcome the deteriorating fiscal deficit, the government is all set to sell-off the Qadirpur gas field, on a fast track basis. The Privatisation Commission has referred the scheme of four options for bidding to the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation for a final decision. The sale of this strategic asset is expected to generate about three billion dollars.

Qadirpur gas field, located about eight kilometers from Ghotki, was discovered in 1990, and covers an area of over 389 square kilometers in Jacobabad and Sukkur districts. The joint venture lease was granted to the state-owned Oil and Gas Development Corporation, in October 1992, to act as its owner and operator.

After installation of gas gathering facilities and processing plant, regular production commenced in September 1995. The gas field was developed in three phases until March 2004. Based on state-of-the-art technology, it has the largest gas processing facilities in Asia.

The expanded natural gas membrane plant, commissioned in 2004 in Qadirpur, uses the well-proven UOP’s cellulose acetate plus (CAP) technology for carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) removal and hydrocarbon recovery. The suppliers, UOP LLC of the USA, claim that this is the world’s largest operating membrane plant in natural gas service.

A compression project is being undertaken to maintain gas production plateau (level of peak production) of 650 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) through the year 2013 and to maintain underground gas pressure through 2017. A total of 31 development wells are currently producing 500 mmcfd processed/pipeline quality gas, 100 mmcfd raw gas and 1,100 barrels (bbl) per day of condensate/NGL (natural gas liquids).

Qadirpur gas field production currently meets 16 percent of total national gas requirements, which translates into import substitution of around $300 million a year. A project for enhancement of its gas capacity by 20 percent is currently in advanced stage, scheduled for completion in December this year. Additional wells are also being connected shortly to the installed plant to facilitate additional gas supply to the SNGPL (Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd) system.

The gas field has net reserves of 5.147 trillion cubic feet (tcf), and is termed as the second largest gas reserve in the country. In comparison, the balance reserves of Sui gas field are to the level of 9.625 tcf, whereas Mari gas field has 4.006 tcf reserves. It is a joint venture among the Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) with 75 percent shareholding, PKP Exploration Ltd 9.5 percent, Kufpec Pakistan Holdings BV 8.5 percent and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) 7 percent.

The government plans to sell-off the entire 75 percent shareholding of OGDCL in the gas field. Qadirpur gas field is a key portion of the production and earnings of the OGDCL, which is the largest petroleum exploration and production company in Pakistan and holds 32 percent of the country’s total gas reserves.

Net sales of the OGDCL during the year ending 30th June 2008 amounted to Rs 125.45 billion, contributing Rs 99.37 billion to the national exchequer in the form of royalty, dividends, corporate tax, GST, excise duty and development surcharge. Without Qadirpur gas field, projected earnings of the OGDCL in future will decline drastically – by at least 17 percent.

The government has already divested 5 percent of its shareholding in the OGDCL, whereas OGDCL and PPL, another state-owned company and joint venture partner in Qadirpurgas field, are already included in the privatisation programme offering 51percent shares along with the management to the prospective buyers. It may be added that 100 mmcfd gas from the Qadirpur gas field has already been allocated by the government, in January 2007, to set up a new urea fertiliser plant by the private sector near the gas field.

Today, Pakistan has total gas reserves of 31.810tcf. A total of 21.60-tcf gas has been produced and consumed, cumulatively. The reserves will rapidly start depleting after 2012, in spite of the recent gas discoveries and achieving higher production at various gas fields. Even if all the discovered reserves are developed optimally, the gas will be hardly sufficient for meeting the demand of another 20 years.

In fact, the country may even face a shortfall of 600 mmcfd by end 2008. To meet the growing national demand, the government plans to import gas in the near future through pipelines from neighbouring countries. Pakistan has limited natural gas deposits, accounting for just half percent of global, and about six percent of Asian, natural gas resources.

But, the country is among the most gas dependent economies of the world. Natural gas contributes to over 50 percent of total commercial energy supply. It is extensively used for power generation and in various industries, besides the 5 million commercial and residential consumers. During 2006-07, its sector-wise consumption was: power 35.5 percent, fertiliser 15.9 percent, cement and other industry 26.2 percent, domestic 15.2 percent, commercial 2.6 percent and transports (CNG) 4.6 percent.

Under these conditions, the decision to sell-off Qadirpur gas field is not a viable option and, if implemented, could result in further increase in domestic gas prices and tariffs, and may also impact gas availability. According to the Petroleum Exploration & Production Policy 2007, all gas pricing is linked with the basket of imported crude oils into Pakistan, based on a mathematical formula. This provides more incentives as compared with 2001 policy that had a cap of $36 per barrel on wellhead gas price.

The wellhead price from new gas fields has been increasing manifold, because of application of new formula, but the consumers tariff is still based on a resultant mix of old and new gas fields pricing. The policy also allows export of the exploration and production companies’ share of gas, though subject to certain conditions.

Divesting the Qadirpur gas field will thus have a considerable negative impact on the national economy. The employees of the OGDCL, members of the civil society and political parties have already started agitation against the planned privatisation of the Qadirpur gas field and OGDCL. They allege that the government has also decided to sell the Qadirpur gas field to a selected foreign investor at a throwaway price.

The government needs to review its decision, lest proposed privatisation of Qadirpur gas field prove to be the Pakistan Steel case of the present government. The government should instead develop an infrastructure for the production of natural gas from new fields that remain far from being realised, and intensifying exploration efforts, particularly in western Balochistan and offshore. The untapped expected potential is estimated at an additional 215 tcf recoverable gas reserves.

Source: http://www.brecorder.com/index.php?id=825882&currPageNo=1&query=&search=&term=&supDate=