Rich man's magic... By S T Hussain
15 June, 2012
I must say that I have never personally met or talked to or have any relation or vested interest in the Bahria Town founder and property tycoon Malik Riaz. Many column writers and TV show anchors are debating how Malik has damaged the reputation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan by disclosing the bribe money that the latter had allegedly paid to Dr Arsalan, the son of the Chief Justice, in the last three years. Did Malik Riaz pay money to Dr Arsalan to have a favourable verdict on the cases against himself in the Supreme Court? Pakistani business groups pay money from welfare funds to speed up their cases with various government departments in their favour to make more money. Malik Riaz has proved that money can buy a lot but not everything.
In Pakistan, one can easily become rich by having the right contacts and by manipulating laws to one's liking. For both these, money is the only tool that is required. Malik Riaz has exposed the role of money and the power that comes with it, especially in our society. We should not blame Malik Riaz for becoming one of the richest Pakistanis in a matter of two decades but should look into the system that helps crooks in becoming powerful and rich.
Did Malik Riaz make money from corruption or promoted corruption in any way? Did he use his father, brothers, sons, and official authorities to become rich? Is he a self-made billionaire? Why was he allowed to take private or government lands for Bahria Town schemes by manipulating, bribing patwaaris and land revenue department officers? What does Malik Riaz want to do for Pakistan? What are his good and bad deeds? Is he responsible for forcing Dr Arsalan to accept bribes from Bahria Town? Did he personally hand over the money to any of his beneficiaries? Is not Malik Riaz as guilty for giving a bribe as is Arsalan for taking one? People need answers to these questions.
Whatever be the outcome of the Chief Justice's son's case, I personally demand that all those in positions of authority in public office and in national institutions, particularly army generals, judges, civil bureaucrats, politicians, should declare their assets forthwith.
S T HUSSAIN
Consumer Awareness and Welfare Association