Pak embassy property in US gets highest bid of $6.8m

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An American investor of Pakistan descent, Shahal Khan, has offered the highest bid of $6.8 million for a property owned by the Pakistan embassy in Washington.

Mr Khan, who is most likely to win the bid, runs Burkhan World Investments in the US capital. The firm introduced itself on its official website as investors of the projects “that it believes will have a positive impact on our society”.

Reports said the second highest bid was made by a Jewish group which aims at establishing a synagogue at this site while the third highest bidder is another American investment firm.

Mr Khan reportedly wants to build the centre of peace at the property that would be linked to the Khan Institute of Economic Security and Peace at American University.

In November last, Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb revealed that the federal cabinet had given a go-ahead for selling two buildings owned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Washington in a transparent way. The buildings, located at 2201 R Street and 2315 Massachusetts Avenue, fell vacant in 2003 when the Pakistan embassy relocated to its present site in the US capital.

Ms Aurangzaib said the government had to pay $819,000 in tax to the US authorities after their diplomatic status was revoked. “If the property is not sold, we have to pay $1.3 million in tax,” the information minister told media.

In 2010, the then prime minister had given a go-ahead for renovation of the buildings but it could not be done despite a lapse of more than one decade.