Pakistan has received three bids for a building which once housed the defence section of the country’s embassy in the US capital.
The highest bid, worth $6.8 million, is offered by a Jewish group that wants to build a synagogue in the building, according to Dawn.
The second bid of about $5 million offered by an Indian realtor and the third bid of about $4 million from a Pakistani realtor, the report quoted sources as saying.
Pakistani-Americans in the realty market say that the building should go to the highest bidder. The sale of property comes amid a deepening economic crisis in the country.
“We should follow this tradition, also because it will create a lot of goodwill in an influential American community, which wants to use it as a place of worship,” a Pakistani realtor reportedly said.
The bids come after Pakistani embassy officials earlier this month said that one of the country’s three diplomatic properties in Washington, a building on the prestigious R Street NW, was up for sale.
The R Street building was used to house the embassy’s defence section from the 1950s to early 2000s. however, the diplomatic status of the building was revoked in 2018 as it had become non-functional, thereby becoming liable to local taxes.
The Pakistani cabinet then agreed to the idea of selling the building in an auction but it was not sold earlier due to incomplete renovations.
This isn’t the first time that a Pakistani property overseas has gone for sale.
Who gives them the right to sell assets of Pakistan? They could have rented the building out and dealt with the loan. Sharifs have sold other embassy buildings in Saudi Arabia and Europe too. https://t.co/8CL6ZfNqCb— Nosheen Saeed (@stickwithchick) December 13, 2022
According to Nosheen Saeed, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, the Sharifs have sold state properties in Saudi Arabia and Europe too.
The sale of the property comes at a time when Pakistan’s debt has jumped to a record high of PKR 60 trillion. Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had made promises to curb the debt while blaming his predecessors for throwing the country into the crisis.
(With Inputs from Shailendra Wangu)
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