Pakistan is in no rush to sell, officials said

Pakistan got three bids for a building that once housed the defence section of the country’s embassy in Washington. At almost $6.8 million, the highest bidder is a Jewish group which wants to build a synagogue in the building, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported quoting diplomatic sources in Washington.

In the second spot is an Indian realtor with a bid of about $5 million, followed by a bid of about $4 million from a Pakistani realtor, the report said.

Batting for the property going to the highest bidder, a Pakistani realtor, requesting to remain anonymous, said: “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.”

Earlier this month, Pakistan embassy officials told Dawn that one of the country’s three diplomatic properties in Washington - a building on the prestigious R Street NW - was up for sale.

On Monday, Pakistan’s Cabinet Committee on Privatisation asked the privatisation commission to appoint a financial adviser to lease the Roosevelt Hotel site in New York. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting.

Embassy officials in Washington are consulting an appraiser to assess whether the building should be sold as it is or after some renovation, the report added. “We are in no rush, and we will conclude a deal only if it benefits Pakistan,” the embassy official said. The country’s cabinet has approved the sale.