Last week, every newspaper in the country announced some version of this news:
Former chairman and present consultant of Bahria Town, Malik Riaz Hussain has signed an agreement with His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, Chairman Abu Dhabi Group, Union National Bank and United Bank Limited under which $45 billion will be invested in Pakistan.
The alleged memorandum of understanding was signed in order to develop mega real estate projects in Pakistan including construction of world’s tallest building on KPT Island (popularly known as Kutta Island) just off the coast of Karachi. The project included a sports city, educational and medical city, international city, media city, and the construction of miniatures of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Bahria Town had also announced that about 2.5 million Pakistanis would be getting jobs as a result of these projects. It would be the biggest foreign investment ever made in Pakistan.
The press quoted statements made by Malik Riaz, and his son, Ali Riaz, confirmed the signing of this agreement.
This morning, all these claims were proven false when the Abu Dhabi Group ran this clarification in all major newspapers of the country:
Bottom line: Major PR fail for Bahria Town, who took it upon themselves to promote a misleading story. This is bound to hurt the group’s reputation and they need to invest in some serious image building to prevent matters from getting worse.
End result? The agreement, which was non-binding to begin with, has been cancelled altogether.