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Malik Riaz Claims Political Pressure Amid Business Losses

by Mohammed Ahmed
Malik Riaz Claims Political Pressure Amid Business Losses

Malik Riaz, the prominent real estate tycoon and Chairman of Bahria Town, has publicly stated that he is facing intense pressure for political reasons but remains steadfast in his refusal to succumb to such tactics. Riaz, who has long been a significant figure in Pakistan’s real estate sector with ties to various political entities, expressed his plight on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

In his message, Riaz revealed that he has been enduring continuous business losses and feels pushed to the brink. However, he did not disclose the sources or specific reasons behind the pressure. The real estate magnate, known for his connections with political parties, media, and both civil and military establishments, has historically been considered an ‘untouchable’ figure in Pakistan.

Despite his influential status, Riaz’s recent statements suggest a different scenario. “All my life, Allah has always guided me to stand by my principle of not taking any political side or being used by one party against the other. For over a year now, I’ve been under immense pressure to compromise, but I’ll never allow anyone to use me as a pawn for political motives,” he asserted.

Riaz’s message highlights a pattern of victimization he claims to have faced due to his contributions to Pakistan’s progress through state-of-the-art projects. “From 1996 till today, I’ve been ‘punished’ for contributing towards the progress of the country. I have faced such pressures in the past with absolute grit and strength,” he added.

The timing of Riaz’s statements has led many to speculate that he is referring to the Al Qadir Trust/University case. This high-profile case, filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against PTI founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, involves allegations of corruption amounting to £190 million. The case alleges that Imran Khan and his spouse acquired land from Bahria Town Ltd to legalize Rs50 billion, which had been identified and returned to Pakistan by UK authorities. In January, an accountability court froze the properties of five co-accused, including Malik Riaz and his son Ahmed Ali Riaz, declaring them proclaimed offenders for not participating in the investigation.

Currently, Malik Riaz is believed to be out of the country. Despite his absence, his declaration on social media emphasized his resilience: “Despite my ailing condition and distress, I’m standing firm in the face of this adversity, bearing financial business loss daily and being pushed to the wall completely, but will not surrender to any pressure tactics. Allah will guide and help me through this tough phase with dignity,” he stated.

The reaction to Riaz’s statement has been mixed. Former president and PTI leader Arif Alvi responded to Riaz’s claims by warning of potential backlash: “The pressure cooker will ‘burst one of these days’. And who will suffer the damage? Not those who have ensured escape routes to foreign countries, but us loyal Pakistanis who have decided to live and die in our country,” Alvi remarked, highlighting the broader implications of such pressures on local business figures and the nation.

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