The conversion of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s Lahore residence into a Panahgah [shelter home] by the Punjab government is reminiscent of the military rule of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, who had turned Sharif family’s Model Town residence into Gosha’aye Aafiat — an institution for elderly destitute people — nearly two decades back; while the former dictator’s own farmhouse remains untouched under the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
While this was also pointed out by senior journalist and analyst Hamid Mir, it was reported by The News that such an act was last carried out by a military dictator out of vengeance against the Sharifs, who had then departed for Saudi Arabia to live in exile for seven years.
The present dispensation is a civilian arrangement that has taken the instant decision. While a quick action has been taken against Dar’s property, Musharraf’s Chak Shahzad farmhouse attached by two courts separately has not been touched by authorities to convert it into a shelter home for the poor although he has been sentenced to death and declared a fugitive.
In November 2016, an Islamabad district and sessions judge attached Musharraf’s farmhouse as the special court trying the dictator for high treason declared him an absconder. The special tribunal ordered the confiscation of his movable and immovable properties.
According to the details submitted to the special court by the Interior Ministry, he operated nine bank accounts and owned seven immovable properties, including the farmhouse, land in the Army Housing Scheme in Karachi, Khayaban-e-Faisal, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Karachi, Beach Street, DHA Islamabad and DHA Lahore.
Musharraf’s wife claims ownership of the farmhouse just like Dar’s spouse does about the Gulber residence, but the latter’s plea has not been accepted.
In January 2017, the Islamabad district administration had informed a district and sessions court that Musharraf’s properties have been attached in compliance with court orders after he had been declared as a proclaimed offender and absconder in the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdur Rashid Ghazi, the report said.