Straight out of the ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ script: Pakistan envoy sells off embassy building in Indonesia

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Islamabad: This can only be done by a Pakistani Bizarre to say the least what he has done. Pakistan’s former ambassador to Indonesia, Major General (retd) Syed Mustafa Anwar has allegedly sold the embassy building in Jakarta. The former ambassador has sold the house at a throwaway price around 10 years ago.

The entire act resembles a scene from the Abhishek Bachchan-Rani Mukherjee film Bunty Aur Babli which hit the screens in 2005. In the scene the two leases out the Taj Mahal to an American billionaire for 99 years. Selling the embassy building is like leasing out of the Taj Mahal only.

According to media reports here, Pakistan’s anti-corruption body, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), filed a reference August 19 against the former envoy. It said that Anwar had committed the alleged offence in 2001-02.

Anwar has been accused of illegally selling the building and causing a loss of $1.32 million to Pakistan’s national exchequer. This information was reported Tuesday by ‘The Tribune’.

The former ambassador, as per the documents submitted to the registrar, had issued an advertisement for the sale of the building. Anwar did so without the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s approval.

The sale was in violation of his powers under Section 9 (A) 6 of the NAB, the reports said. The NAB alleged that Anwar in a clandestine manner had started the process of selling the building. He did so immediately after his appointment in Jakarta. Once the process of the sale started, he then sent the proposal to the Ministry.

‘The Tribune’ said the reference in the court read that the Foreign Affairs Ministry had banned the sale of the building without its approval in several letters.

The Pakistan Supreme Court last month held that the NAB office was responsible for delay in deciding corruption references including that against the former ambassador. The apex court had said that the NAB officials were incompetent.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had observed that NAB officers did not possess enough expertise. Hence they failed to conduct proper inquiries. Apparently there were no measures in place on the basis of which investigations were examined, the ‘Tribune’ reported.

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