Former PSM chairman passes away

KARACHI: Former chairman of Pakistan Steels Mills and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Usman Farooqui passed away in Karachi early Tuesday morning.

His daughter, Sharmila Farooqui, tweeted: “Together forever Papa […] your heart will beat with mine.”

In 1996, The Washington Post accused Farooqui, who headed the now-defunct steel producer in the second tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party from 1993 to 1996, of having “forged his educational certificates and purchased fake business and doctoral degrees from an unaccredited college in the United States”.

“In the first eight months of Farooqi’s stewardship of Pakistan Steel, he made below-market deals that cost the state-run company about $140 million, according to two reports by its top executives,” the paper claimed.

“In January, for instance, the steel company lost $6 million by selling one of its prime products at more than one-third below the prevailing price. In May, the firm purchased five precision instruments from a Karachi supplier for more than $700,000 when the going rate was about $4,000.”

In 2001, the Farooqui family entered a plea bargain with the National Accountability Bureau and surrendered more than Rs265 million — amount which the dirty money watchdog said was acquired through corruption — in favour of the state.

Former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari expressed grief over Farooqui’s demise.

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