LAHORE: Malik Riaz rose from a humble background to become the biggest real estate tycoon of Pakistan. He was so used to getting things done as per his desire and he was so close to those who wielded power in the country, that he started believing that they were a means to his ends. The fact is that a part of the ruling elite believes that it is acceptable to indulge in rampant corruption without fear of accountability. So entrenched is this system of belief that this real estate tycoon considered it appropriate to lodge a complaint that the relief he expected to get by allegedly showering favours and cash on a young, well-connected man was not bearing fruit.
It seems that Malik Riaz considers it his right to get judges of his choice to hear criminal or civil suits filed against him. Hundreds of thousands of middle class retirees who invested in the DHA Valley thinking that they were investing money in a project launched by a reliable organisation, were shocked to hear that this project had been handed over to Bahria Town. This man must realise that it is Pakistan which gave him the opportunity to become a billionaire and he should respect its laws. This is a country with laws and a proper Constitution, not a fiefdom where people can abuse the state, its institutions and the Supreme Court and yet expect to get away. Why was Malik Riaz given the protocol and security of a VIP when he arrived from London and again when he went to appear before the SC? Those responsible for giving him this protocol are encouraging such elements who are out to malign the superior judiciary. This is an unpardonable violation of the constitutional obligations of an elected government.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published In The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.