Conflict of interests: Islamabad’s contractor-mayor


Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz faces a possible conflict of interest as he owns a construction company.

Aziz, who is also the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman, is the chief executive of ‘Anser Brothers (Pvt) Limited’ company.

According to the documents available with Pakistan Today, Aziz had registered his construction company with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in 2010.

The company has a corporate universal identification number 0071542 and has a 100 million authorised share capital. Aziz owns 0.9 million shares, his father owns 50,000 shares, and his wife owns 50,000 shares in the company.

Anser registered himself with SECP as chief executive of the company. Aziz also obtained a Rs 260 million loan from a private bank for his company on May 12th, 2016 after being elected as mayor.

Curiously, the company was awarded a contract in 2008, two years before its incorporation.

The company got the Rs 20 million contract to construct two animal enclosures and a service road at Marghzar Zoo. It was paid in 2011.

SECP is the only platform to get the certificate of incorporation and to register all private limited companies. Hence, at the time of being awarded the contract, the company was neither private limited, nor registered.

“The real issue is that the current mayor and the CDA chairman owns an Islamabad-based construction company which is enlisted in the CDA, Engineering Wing. He also has a history of working for CDA,” said a CDA official, who wished not to be named.

The company is presently being run from the residential area: House 2-B, Kaghan Road, F-8/4, Islamabad. This is also against the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Building Control Section (BCS) has not issued a notice to the company over the violation of CDA by-laws.

“Aziz’s journey from a CDA contractor to its mayor is an example of conflict of interest. As a contractor, he cannot be the head of any development authority,” said Advocate Muhammad Ali, a senior Islamabad High Court (IHC) lawyer.

“The conflict of interest is a globally recognised legal maxim. Is our mayor above the law?” he asked.

Recently, US president-elect Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon, announced that he would step aside from running his businesses after taking an oath of office. He had been facing criticism that his financial interests would interfere with his duties to the public as president.

Talking to Pakistan Today, a CDA Engineering wing member said: “Construction by non-registered companies is a routine matter and not a heinous crime.”

However, when questioned why the authority had announced to register an FIR against another contractor in a similar case, he could not provide an answer.

CDA spokesperson Mazhar Hussain said that the mayor had done nothing illegal. “He has the vision to develop the entire capital and he is working on it,” he said.

When contacted, Aziz, however, declined to comment on the story.