F ollowing is the list of the top 40 richest families in Pakistan at the moment. I received it through a friend and have no idea about how authentic it is. It is an interesting read and does seem like that if not 100%, then it must 80% correct. However, it has missed some families which are sure to make the top 10, of the top of my head I can think of two: Giga (Pardesi family) and the family that owns ARY. Both of them gave the government of Pakistan huge interest free loans when it was on the brink of default after the sanctions imposed due to the nuclear tests almost crippled Pakistan. Anyway, check it out if you have time, as it is quite a long post.
1. The Nishat Group Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha is the captain of this splendid ship having around 30 companies on board. Mansha, who owns the Muslim Commercial Bank as well, is now setting up a billion rupee ($ 17 m) paper sack project too. He is one of the richest Pakistanis around. Nishat Group was country's 15th richest family in 1970, 6th in 1990 and Number 1 in 1997. Mansha is on the board of nearly 50 companies. Chiniotiby clan, Mansha is married to Yousaf Saigol's daughter. He is deemed to have made investments in many bourses, currency and metal exchanges both within and outside Pakistan. He has had his share of luck on many occasions in life and has recently been awarded Pakistan's highest civil award by President Musharraf. He could have bought the United Bank too, but then who doesn't have adversaries. Nishat Group comprises of textiles, cement, leasing, insurance and management companies. If Mansha was bitten by Bhutto's nationalization stint of 1970, his friends think he was compensated by Nawaz Sharif's denationalization programme to a very good effect. There is no stopping Mansha and he is still on the move!
2. The Jang Group This huge media empire was founded by late Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman some six decades ago. Today, around 10 top newspapers and the multi-billion rupee GEO TV project are being run by Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Mir Khalil's brainy son, who has a lot of projects pertaining to real estate under his belt too. Though he can be very modest, Shakeel is known to have taken country's Prime Ministers head-on. His tussle with Nawaz Sharif in 1999 spoke volumes of his unmatched influence in all domestic and international quarters which matter Shakeel is one of Asia's most well known media barons, whose newspapers have served to be the breeding nurseries for country's top journalists. He invests massively in stocks business regularly. His elder brother Mir Javed ur Rehman and tender son Mir Ibrahim also assist him in business. Such magnificent has been his influence that at times, a few governments have opted to take a few of his employees as ministers. The Group, as most politicians agree, has been instrumental in both toppling and building governments in Pakistan for decades now. Limelight is the product that he sells but doesn't like tasting the fruits of his own garden.
3. The Hashoo Group Led by the vintage Saddaruddin Haswani, the Hashoo Group is more known for its dominance in Pakistan's hotel industry, though the people who know a bit more about the Hashwanis are of their strength in real estate business too. Hashwanis are involved in trading of cotton grain and steel and till the nationalization of cotton export in 1974, they were widely being dubbed as the Cotton Kings of Pakistan. Today, this group has excelled in export of rice, wheat, cotton and barley. It owns textile units, besides having invested billions in mines, minerals. hotels, insurance, batteries, tobacco, residential properties, construction, engineering and information technology. In 1984, Hashwani defeated the Lakhanis in the bid for Premier Tobacco but was arrested along with his brother Akbar in 1986 for allegedly evading customs duty on cigarettes. Sadarduddin'sbrother Akbar and the children of another late brother Hassan Ali Hashwani together manage around 45 companies....
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