Malik Riaz was first famous as the man whose touch turned barren land into Bahria land, and of late with his Family-gate and media fiasco his touch has gained fame for being the spoiler of many a relationship. The latest relationship to have gone sour over the property tycoon is that of the Pindi police and the capital police, and so acrid is the issue that the Pindi police can no longer enter the capital without permission.
It all started on June 23 when a 22-member team of Rawalpindi police and the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team reached the Aabpara police station for compliance of court orders to arrest property tycoon Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz in a land fraud case.
As the Pindi police and ACE officials requested the Aabpara police to complete legal formalities to allow them to raid the residence of Malik Riaz, SSP Yousuf Malik along with SP City rushed to the Aabpara police station. The two superintendents ordered their subordinates to escort the Rawalpindi police and ACE teams out of the limits of Islamabad instead of allowing them to conduct the raid even though they carried warrants on them.
In fact, in a show of extreme loyalty to the property tycoon, the Islamabad police led by SP City took the officials of the two teams into their custody and escorted them out of the limits of the capital.
In retaliation, the Rawalpindi police and Anti-Corruption Establishment registered two separate reports in their ‘roznamcha’ regarding their unsuccessful attempts to conduct a raid and non-compliance of the capital police in carrying out the orders.
They also obtained footage of the episode at the Aabpara police station to present it before the court of the ACE judge in the upcoming proceeding.
On its part, the Islamabad Capital Territory police registered a case against the Pindi police and ACE team officials and have been intercepting all Punjab police vehicles entering into the limits of the federal capital. Vans are only allowed to proceed after the capital police are satisfied that the occupant is not a senior police officer.
A deputy superintendent of police in Rawalpindi, who recently traveled to Islamabad to attend the funeral prayers of the mother of a provincial assembly member, claimed that he was stopped at the Faizabad police check-post for more than an hour.
He quoted the police officials of ICT deployed at the check point as saying: “We have orders from our high-ups to stop Rawalpindi police vehicles from entering into the limits of Islamabad and then to get permission from police control room whether it is to be allowed or not.”
He added that he was allowed after detailed questioning from a low ranking police officer who then got permission to let him proceed.
Similarly two other police officers of SP rank were not allowed to enter into the limits of Islamabad, and could only enter later after they had been granted permission.
A police official added that even the Elite Force vehicles going on escort duty were not allowed to enter into Islamabad unless permission was granted.
According to the Pindi police, this is not the first time that it has had a run-in with Malik Riaz. Last year, on March 8, Rawalpindi’s Civil Lines police had arrested some officials of Nadra on a complaint of a private person that they were issuing fake national identity cards to Bahria Town’s employees from a mobile van.
Though the other officials of Nadra were freed by the police, a driver and security guard were booked by the Civil Lines police on the charges of issuing fake national ID cards. However, both the persons were bailed out after about one month’s arrest.
Police insiders claim that the fake ID cards were being issued to secure vote bank in National Assembly’s constituency NA-52 for Pakistan Muslim League-Q for the upcoming national elections, allegedly with the connivance of property tycoon whose housing society was located there. “Majority of the people residing in that locality had been settlers, with residential addresses of other parts of the country, and as one can cast vote only in the constituency where one lives and holds a proof of the same by having original ID card, the fake cards were being issued” said one police official.
When Dawn contacted a senior police officer to enquire about the tug of war between the police of the twin cities, he replied that the ICT police had taken law into their hand only for one person and this reflected on the poor discipline.
He added: “If the Pindi police had done the same what the ICT police would do; there would have been a clash between the two forces that would have been disastrous.”
When asked about the case registered against the Rawalpindi police and ACE officials with the Aabpara police station, the senior police official replied: “The case against the Rawalpindi police is totally wrong and a court of law shall have to settle the issue.”
Other insiders told Dawn that Islamabad police was not to be blamed alone for its links with the property tycoon, as many police officials posted in Rawalpindi also had close relations and harboured sympathies for him. They claim that the newly-issued transfer order for Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Mohammad Zubair is also being seen in the police circles as a strong retaliation from the influential property tycoon for the police’s attempt to arrest him.