Holy cow!

What is good is that we seem to be heading towards a reality where there will not be any holy cows in the country.

Editorial June 12, 2012

The scandal that has already enveloped Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, reached a crescendo on June 12 as business tycoon Malik Riaz submitted a written statement to the Supreme Court and then addressed an explosive press conference later in the day laced with very serious allegations. In his statement before the apex court, he alleged that he had given Arsalan nearly Rs350 million in the form of foreign trips and cash payments over a period of three years in exchange for the latter promising to help settle cases related to Bahria Town pending in the apex court. At the press conference, Riaz (who said he had come with a copy of the Holy Quran) told journalists that the CJ should answer whether he had met Riaz in the “dark of the night” and that in such meetings a “sitting registrar” of the apex court as well as “a sitting Supreme Court judge” would also be present. He also alleged that he didn’t give the money voluntarily and was compelled to do so under duress. Not only has Malik Riaz tried to incriminate Arsalan Iftikhar, he has also attempted to implicate the CJ by suggesting that he knew what was going on. The CJ has been widely praised for initiating a suo motu case against his own son before withdrawing himself from it and also for hearing cases on very important national issues such as missing persons and Balochistan involving some of Pakistan’s holy cows. However, now people may wonder how he was not aware of his son’s lavish lifestyle. Also, perhaps answers to some of the questions that Riaz raised at his press conference may be necessary to clear up the air. Arsalan has claimed that he earned his money through his telecommunication company, which got lucrative contracts from major telecommunication companies. That explanation itself raises more questions than it tries to answer.

This is also a scandal that is not limited to just the judiciary. Malik Riaz’s sphere of influence seemingly encompasses every politically-connected entity in Pakistan. Everyone seems to have a dog in this fight, and though the outcome may be uncertain, what is good is that we seem to be heading — albeit tottering in the eyes of some — towards a reality where there will not be any holy cows in the country. That is a good development from the point of view of establishing rule of law.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.


Nafees | 9 years ago | Reply

How could CJ not knew that his son and wife were shopping in London. How could he not know that his son started driving Mercedes from Corolla, tripled his bank balance, went to Monte Carlo for vacation. The live in the same house for God’s sake. I am not stupid enough to believe that he did not know. I like the CJ but this case is just too obvious. The verdict of this case proved that chief justice is part and parcel of the same corrupt bureaucracy that we have in Pakistan. It is just that whoever has the upper hand prevails. Right now there is a cat and mouse game going around, and if it is CJ’s turn now, well and good. He needs to be held accountable, as he is holding all others. Not just select suo motos where he pleases, but must take suo moto against all ills.

Gulzar Kandrani | 9 years ago | Reply Lamentably writing that CJ is being dragged in such cases which serve no purpose but wastage of time and money as did with " Memogate" and " "Mehrangate and new version of " gate" Arslangate". Poor are dieing of starvation, unbridled "Holy Cows" are in bid to maintain status quo and no one has locus standi to point fingers at them for even wrong doings. Poor girls of poverty stricken peasants are raped by big-shots, so-called " Peers & Syeds", Landowners and Law enforcing elements. Balochistan is burning, Ministers are passing ridiculous statements, Literacy rate winding down, people are selling their organs and their beloved offspring, most of people are deprived of their fundamental rights, more than 4 million children are trapped in the net of Child Labour, 51 percent of women in Balochistan are suffering hemoglobin deficiency, people are divided in to several sections and groups are at daggers drawn with one another. But, regret that our demagogues are busy to hurl mud at one another and not cogitating over 85% people. Can crises and problems be sorted out if Arslangate is solved??????
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