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Scandal escalates to defame the Chief Justice of Pakistan

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Not surprisingly, the scandal to defame the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry through a conspiracy to entrap his family has escalated with the conspirator, Malik Riaz - a real estate tycoon - accusing the Chief Justice of knowing his business dealings with his son Dr.Arsalan Iftikhar.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Malik Riaz claimed that he was blackmailed and did not pay any bribes. He described Dr. Arsalan as "don', adding he was the one running the judiciary. He also claimed that Chief Justice was meeting him secretly.

The charge was immediately denied and clarified by the Supreme Court Registrar, Faqir Hussain who said that the real estate tycoon had met with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry during the days of latter's deposition. Speaking to Geo News, Faqir Hussain said that two to three such meetings had taken place during which he too was present. The Chief Justice held no meetings with Malik Riaz after his restoration, he clarified.

Earlier on Tuesday, Malik Riaz submitted his official response in the Arsalan Iftikhar suo motu case and accused the chief justice's son of accepting kickbacks and bribes worth over Rs340 million ($3.4 million) from him. He further alleged that the money was used to fund Arsalan's two separate foreign trips.

The statement submitted by Riaz said that Arsalan had assured him to be of assistance in different cases against Bahria Town pending in the courts. He claimed that he possessed ample evidence against the transactions that took place between himself and Arsalan.

He further alleged that Arsalan was accompanied by a woman on his trip to Monte Carlo. He claims to have bought the ticket for the woman whose identity Arsalan did not reveal at the time. Riaz alleged that he paid over rupees 2500,000 ($ 25,000) for the apartment Arsalan rented in Monte Carlo and over rupees 3400,000($ 34,000) for rental cars.

The statement submitted by Riaz claimed that Arsalan had assured him to be of assistance in different cases against Bahria Town pending in the courts. He claimed that he possessed ample evidence against the transactions that took place between himself and Arsalan. Malik Riaz also mentioned that he did not get any relief in spite of Dr. Arsalan's statements. He said Arsalan had blackmailed him and his son-in-law for a long time.

It may be pointed out that the conspiracy to implicate the Chief Justice was revealed on June 4, 2012 by Shaeen Sehbai, Group Editor The News International,   in a 38 minute interview by the Washington Beat on YouTube. Sehbai said "CJ's son was given up to Rs400 million (Approximately $4 million) in a planned conspiracy. The conspiracy is now completed and can be brought to surface anytime."

On June 5, Chief Justice Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry took a suo moto notice against his own son Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar and Bahria Town's Malik Riaz Hussain. Dr. Arsalan appeared in the court but Malik Riaz was abroad and he appeared before the court on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

Why Malik Riaz is against the Supreme Court?

"Leaders of lawyers' movement helping Bahria Town chairman in land grabbing and extra-judicial activities.   Police, revenue officials dancing to his tunes due to his influence on appointments," these observations of Ikram Junaidi, a Daily Times writer, best describe the personality of Malik Riaz, who is accused of land grabbing, fraud and murder.

On July 20, 2011, the Daily Times published an article by Ikram Junaidi, under the title "Malik Riaz continues to hold sway over judicial system." Junaidi said: "Malik Riaz of Bahria Town has become an unannounced don of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and now has been using famous lawyers who have been part of the "Restoration of Judiciary Movement" to buy justice for him. He is also influencing appointments of police and revenue officials to use them for his interests and deprive the ordinary persons of their properties in the twin cities."

Junaidi quoted reliable sources as saying, presently over 50 cases of Irfan Abbasi, Col (r) Khalid, Dr Shafique and other persons against Bahria Town are directly or indirectly are under proceeding in trial and apex courts, but Riaz hired some prominent lawyers who played important role in the 2007-2008 restoration of judiciary to influence the cases in trial courts.

They said cases of murder, land grabbing and other heinous crime were filed against Riaz in the courts. On October 27, 2009 a three-member bench comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Ghulam Rabbani ordered Sihala police to lodge an FIR and arrest Bahria Town chairman Malik Riaz Hussain. The court issued theses orders on a suo moto notice on reports of the murder of security guard Fiaz Ahmed, who was killed in 2008. In that case seven people were arrested, but all were released on bail. However, Malik Riaz could not be arrested. Some people present at the hearing told the Supreme Court (SC) that Riaz forced them to sell him their land. Those people also alleged that if they would refuse they would be harassed with help of local police.

The court directed Sihala police official to record the statement of Shamraiza Bibi, Ahmed's widow, in the courtroom. In her statement she said Malik Riaz was responsible for the murder of her husband. During the course of hearing, two citizens - Raja Qayyum and Habibullah - appeared before the bench and maintained that they were victimized by Malik Riaz, who had gotten them beaten through police as they were not selling their land to him. They alleged that SHO Idrees Rathore and DSP Malik Mumtaz kept them locked for three months, forcing them to sell their properties to the Bahria Town chairman.

A SC bench headed by CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry ordered the district and sessions judge Islamabad in 2009 to launch a judicial inquiry against Riaz for his alleged land grabbing through coercive and blackmailing tactics and submit report to the apex court. The DCO Islamabad was directed to facilitate and cooperate with the district and sessions judge in this regard. Almost 100 persons gave their statements against Malik Riaz but so far police have failed to take action against him.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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