Former President Asif Ali Zardari has spent Rs 50 million from his own pocket to buy a house here for the cash-strapped Punjab unit of the Pakistan People’s Party.
Zardari, co-chairman of the PPP, has come to the rescue of PPP Punjab chapter as it had no money even to pay the salaries of the staff of its other offices in the province. However, Zardari got the two-kanal house in Model Town registry in the name of his children – Bilawal Bhutto, Bakhtawar and Assefa – instead of the PPP.
Interestingly, the new PPP secretariat is located in the neighbourhood of the PML-N’s provincial headquarters. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif owns the PML-N Secretariat in H-block in Model Town.
The PPP, which received drubbing in the general election in Punjab, is cash strapped for quite some time now. It had acquired the Model Town office on rent before the polls last year. A notice to vacate the house was served on the party when it did not pay the rent for a couple of months. It even had no money to pay the salaries of the employees there as well as those of Faisal Town office.
The situation was brought to the knowledge of Zardari who not only directed some ‘rich’ party members in both Punjab and Sindh provinces to donate to the party funds, but also sent the amount from his pocket to buy the Model Town office. “He spent Rs 50 million from his own pocket to buy the PPP office in Lahore,” a senior PPP leader told PTI.
Earlier, Zardari had bought a big bomb-proof house at Bahria Town here, which he named after his son Bilawal. Property tycoon Malik Riaz had built the house for Zardari and his family members.