Malik Riaz may have hundreds of cases against him but has never been jailed even once. Nor his son, Ali Riaz who is Bahria Town’s Chief executive. Both father and son have been nominated in numerous cases of murder, fraud and forgery but the so-called long arm of the law has been drastically short in their case. Even when the Supreme Court ordered their arrest, the Islamabad Police always came to their rescue.
Remember when five people died while watching an illegal car race that was organized by Ali Riaz in Bahria Town? The Supreme Court issued stern orders to arrest the junior Malik on a murder charge. “Ali Jail nahi jaye ga,”the Sultana Daku in Malik Riaz is believed to have thundered to Islamabad’s top cop. He never did. Islamabad police not only protected him from, interestingly, Islamabad police but made sure he was smuggled to Dubai. The case has since been ‘handled.’ Two former Federal Law Ministers issued statements against the charge. A dozen columnists and TV anchors criticized the judiciary for its activism. The country’s biggest lawyers were hired to contest the case. The prosecution was cooperative in framing a weak case. Bahria’s Security Officer took the blame for organizing the race, not Ali. Witnesses and the families of the victims have either been pressured into submission or bought over. Period.
This happens in hundreds of such cases where Malik Riaz is always the ‘judge, jury and the hangman.’ A similar pattern exists in most cases. A crime, usually involving murder in land-grabbing, takes place. Poor people get robbed of their ancestral land through fake documents or coercion. As the police is always partial towards Malik Riaz, the victims run to newspaper offices or to the courts for redress. In most cases the police tortures them further, involving them in fake cases and making them submit to the Don Riaz. If the victims are lucky the news comes out and the courts take notice of the complaint. But again the partial police, administration and the prosecution makes sure the evidence is weak and the Don gets away most of the time. It is the same Bollywood movie theme that we see again and again.
Dr Shafiqur Rehman’s case should explain. Dr Rehman, a land developer, is fighting Malik Riaz for the last 16 years. The ‘Dabangg-style’ feud between the two began in 1996 when Malik Riaz tried to acquire Rehman’s 900 kanals that wasadjacent to Bahria Town. Rehman won the case in a civil court after 12 years oflitigation. The land-grabbing, after all, is all about reputation and one blood spill could encourage other sharks.
Rehman claimed in his petition that Malik had asked him to withdraw or face dire consequences. When Rehman refused to oblige he was framed in a dubious murder of Malik’s guard, Mohammad Fayyaz, that happened a year ago.
Malik’s Security In-charge identified Shafiq as one of the ‘70 accomplices.’ Shafiq was picked up from Lahore by Islamabad Police without any jurisdiction and thrown in jail. When he got out on bail, Malik got huge advertisements published in the name of Fayyaz’s father, appealing to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Shafiq was painted as “the most dangerous man” from whom the deceased’s family sought protection. Shafiq claims that Malik had given the guard’s family six million rupees. Malik also nominated 11 other land rivals among the 70 accomplices. Most people backed out of their claims when framed in a murder charge and locked up by the blatantly partial police .However, Shafiq stood his ground.
In due time, the Supreme Court took up the case. Bollywood style, the story took a new twist when the deceased’s wife Shamraiza claimed Malik Riaz was the murderer before the SC bench. She accused Malik of murdering her husband just to blame it on his rivals. By the way, this was also the time when Malik Riaz got upset by the superior courts which led to his onslaught.
Shafiq got acquitted in the case and has now charged Malik Riaz of fabricatingevidence to frame him and others in a murder charge. Also accused in the case are many police officials. Shafiq claims that Shamraiza has since been paid another Rs 20 million to hush up. Most of the Bollywood-like script is from the Supreme Court proceedings that got published in the media sketchily. The perjury case against Malik Riaz and his son is serious as the fabrication of evidence in a murder case has the same penalty that is reserved for murder.
Believe me the next few months are more crucial for Malik Riaz than for the rest of the country that awaits the election. Many such cases are close to their conclusion. The noose seems finally tightening around the Don as he cannot survive without the official patronage. For the time being, he continues to run the Capital. The police are at his beck and call. He is given more security and protocol than any Minister. But the Don, we are told, can’t sleep these days and wakes up in the middle of the night because of nightmares. What if the PPP government does not return to power? What if the Islamabad IG Police is changed? What if they also change the SHOs of Bara Kahu and Sihala? What if his moles in the lesser judiciary and administration stop listening to him? What if Shahbaz Sharif continues to block his LDA schemes? What if he could not survive till next year when the two most important people get retired? What if he or his son Ali had to go to jail? What if Hamid Ali Khan and Aitezaz Ahsan also back out from contesting his cases? What if his paid anchors and columnists stop taking his tweets? Basically, what if he gets, in his own words “Scrooooed?”
No wonder he is building $ 45 billion castles in the air so that he could be spared from these cases in the larger ‘national interests’, the argument being that the saviours who bring in foreign investment worth “billions of dollars” should be spared for a few ‘omissions of murders, forgeries, frauds etc.’ The ads for a new castle of Port Qasim are out—more about that later. Nightmares should continue.
Published on: thespokesman.pk