Is CPEC Authority Chairman Asim Bajwa Guilty as Alleged?
|Papa John's Franchisee Nadeem Bajwa|
Who is Nadeem Bajwa?
Nadeem Bajwa is General Saleem Bajwa's younger brother. While it is true that Nadeem Bajwa owns a large Papa Johns' franchise business in the United States, there is nothing to support the allegation that this business has been built with funds stolen and remitted from Pakistan. Nadeem Bajwa's story is, in fact, typical of many successful Pakistani immigrants who have worked hard to achieve entrepreneurial success in America. The best example of a Pakistani immigrant's franchise success story is that of Shoukat Dhanani whose Dhanani Group's annual revenue is over $2 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Nadeem Bajwa's Success Story:
Nadeem Bajwa came to the United States as a student in 1991. He took a job as a pizza delivery driver for Domino's while going to college in Indiana. “The delivery driver job was one of the easiest when going to school,” Bajwa told Nation's Restaurant News in 2014. “There wasn’t a lot of stress or pressures and other students were doing it. I heard they made good pay, and every day you just deliver pizzas and make decent tips.”
In 1994, Bajwa took a job with Papa John’s as a driver, was quickly promoted to general manager and then operating partner within 10 months — all while continuing his education. “I was busy, and then when I got promoted I was still finishing up school,” he said. “But when you have goals in mind, you just keep going. Sometimes anxiety isn’t such a bad thing.” Bajwa signed his first franchise in 2002 and then grew his business from there.
The very next year he signed a deal to develop 10 locations in Pittsburgh. He bought three locations in 2004, and then opened 10 units in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 he bought a 27-unit Papa John’s operator in Michigan and Indiana — the very same operator for whom he used to work.This is how most franchisees build their business. This is not at all unusual. Many franchisees start out as employees, get promoted and then become franchise owners. It's partly because franchisors prefer their franchisees to have prior business experience running a franchise.
The franchisees such as Nadeem Bajwa's main asset is the prior franchise operations experience they bring. Franchisee and his/her partners/investors must also come up with 10-20% of the total funds needed to start operations. The rest of the money comes from commercial banks or other lenders such as the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Borrower must be creditworthy, typically must contribute some equity, and are expected to repay the loan out of the franchise's cash flow. The franchise loans from US Small Business Administration (SBA) offer the lowest rates. Some franchisers may also offer internal financing, according to Wall Street Journal.
Panama Leaks Dominated By Politicians:
Pakistani politicians and their supporters use allegations of corruption in Pakistani military to distract attention from their own well-documented corruption. Just a quick look at the names in leaked Panama Papers shows that politicians, not generals, dominate these lists. Pakistani names included in Panama Papers are those of several politicians and business people, but no generals, according to media reports.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is linked to 9 companies connected to his family name. Those involved are: Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, Relatives of Punjab Chief Minister and brother of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif are linked to 7 companies. They are: Samina Durrani and Ilyas Meraj.
Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was linked to one company. Her relatives and associates are linked to others: Nephew Hassan Ali Jaffery Javed Pasha, Close friend of Asif Ali Zardari (4 companies), PPP Senator Rehman Malik (1 company), PPP Senator Osman Saifullah’s family (34 companies), Anwar Saifullah, Salim Saifullah, Humayun Saifullah, Iqbal Saifullah, Javed Saifullah, Jehangir Saifullah. The Chaudharies of Gujrat have not been linked personally but other relatives have including: Waseem Gulzar Zain Sukhera (co-accused with former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son in the Hajj scandal).
Pakistani Businessmen in Panama Leaks: Real Estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain’s son (Bahria Town) Ahmad Ali Riaz (1 company), Chairman ABM Group of Companies Azam Sultan (5 companies), Pizza Hut owner Aqeel Hussain and family (1 company), Brother Tanwir Hassan Chairman Soorty Enterprise Abdul Rashid Soorty and family, Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman of Habib Bank Limited (1 company), Khawaja Iqbal Hassan, former NIB bank President (1 company), Bashir Ahmed and Javed Shakoor of Buxly Paints (1 company), Mehmood Ahmed of Berger Paints (1 company), Hotel tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani and family (3 companies), Murtaza Haswani Owner of Hilton Pharma, Shehbaz Yasin Malik and family (1 company), The Hussain Dawood family (2 companies), Shahzada Dawood Abdul Samad Dawood Partner Saad Raja, The Abdullah family of Sapphire Textiles (5 companies), Yousuf Abdullah and his wife, Muhammad Abdullah and his wife, Shahid Abdullah and his family, Nadeem Abdullah and family, Amer Abdullah and family, Gul Muhammad Tabba of Lucky Textiles, Shahid Nazir, CEO of Masood Textile Mills (1 company), Partner Naziya Nazir Zulfiqar Ali Lakhani, from Lakson Group and owner of Colgate-Palmolive, Tetley Clover and Clover Pakistan (1 company) and Zulfiqar Paracha and family of Universal Corporation (1 company).
Pakistani Judges in Panama Leaks: Serving Lahore High Court Judge Justice Farrukh Irfan, Retired Judge Malik Qayyum, Pakistani Media personnel in Panama Leaks: Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman of GEO-Jang Media Group (1 company).
|Politicians Dominate Off-shore Company Owners in Panama Leaks|
NED Alum as Restaurant Franchisee:
At a panel I attended at NED Alumni Convention in Houston, I met Tabassum Mumtaz, an NED alum, whose story is similar to Nadeem Bajwa's. He decided to try his luck as an entrepreneur outside of engineering. Tabassum started working as a cook for Long John Silver and, through his hard work, ended up owning the entire chain of the seafood restaurants. In addition, Tabassum is a grand franchisee of A&W, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in some regions of the country run under Ampex Brands. The annual revenue from the restaurants exceeds a billion dollars.
Shoukat Dhanani came from Pakistan to attend college in the United States. His story is similar to that of Nadeem Bajwa, a classic tale of entrepreneurship, and how a hard-working family can build a giant, and highly successful, business without venture capital or private equity money, according to Forbes magazine. The group today includes 130 convenience stores in the Houston area, 502 Burger Kings and 170 Popeyes. It remains 100% family owned and operated. “We always believed in staying low-key and under the radar,” Dhanani told Forbes. “That’s what our dad taught us.”
There is no evidence to support the allegation by reporter Ahmad Noorani that Papa John's franchisee Nadeem Bajwa's success is built on funds illegally taken and remitted by his brother General Asim Bjawa in Pakistan. Nadeem Bajwa's franchise success story is not in any way unique. There are many Pakistani immigrants who came to the United States to study, worked at a franchise restaurant part-time and then became successful multiple franchise owners. The most prominent among these Pakistani immigrant entreprenrurs is Shoukat Dhanani of Dhanani Group that does over $2 billion a year business.
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