On Friday 4th May 2018, a landmark decision was passed in a courtroom of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The bench comprised of Justice Ejaz Afzal, Justice Faisal Arab, and Justice Baqar. A 2-1 decision concluded against a modern-day ’King-maker’. The defender in the case being the largest private real estate developer in Asia, Riaz ‘thekedar’ or better known today as Malik Riaz of Bahria Town. Drawing rooms have heard this name, media channels have interviewed him, social media has seen countless posts about his work in philanthropy, and many have used his private jets and accepted generous gifts. He is also the man popularly attributed to being the broker between PPP, Ch Iftikhar and Khaki high rankers. However, against all norms, there was a pin drop silence regarding this decision everywhere. In the drawing rooms of the intellectuals, in the corridors of politics, in the head offices of media houses and on all platforms of social media it seemed like nothing had happened. No debate generated, no opinions raised. Either the whole of Pakistan had no information of the proceeds of the court or the citizens thought the Supreme Court’s decision a taboo. The silence is unexplained for such an important national figure. But it takes little effort and minor research to realize that this man is the real-life Godfather of Mario Puzo. It begs consideration that maybe Justice Khosa overlooked this individual, in his Panama decision, when he quoted a famous line by Honoré de Balzac: “The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out because it was properly executed”. 11,000 acres of land belonging to the government in Karachi was transferred in ownership to Bahria Town. Not only is the transfer illegal as it could only be leased out for development, the price at which it was given is nothing more than a throw away The NAB has been ordered on Friday to start a reference against everyone involved in the Bahria Town mega scam. 11,000 acres of land belonging to the government in Karachi was transferred in ownership to Bahria Town. Not only is the transfer illegal as it could only be leased out for development, the price at which it was given is nothing more than throw away. In simple words, they say he bought it for one lakh per kanal and would sell it for over fifty lakhs. Supreme Court has hence acted no short of being a messiah here. This man is a super genius and is well known for his welfare. He has given business contracts, plots, houses and bulletproof cars to all who’s who in our country. His commercial ads are survival for many TV channels. Legend also has it that the receivers of his welfare are secretly recorded while accepting their donations and are blackmailed into submission later. He is a modern version of Robin Hood; he takes from the mighty and the needy behind the scenes and gives a handful to the needy in broad daylight while humbly smiling for the camera. Justice Faisal Arab writes in the judgment, “robs from Peter and gives it to John”. The Hon’ble Judge is in pursuit of justice. The Karachi land transfer case is just one of the countless of others one hears in whispers. Legend also has it that his land acquiring partners have killed many rightful owners for not handing over the land for proposed sites. A few times people have seen viral videos on the social media of gun battles due to unknown reasons, once in a while, a small story also appears in the print media but eventually, a deadly silence prevails. Some months ago a stage collapsed and nearly 150 people were injured during a festival held at Bahria Town but the media uttered no words. He is a modern version of Robin Hood; he takes from the mighty and the needy behind the scenes and gives a handful to the needy in broad daylight while humbly smiling for the camera Social activist Jibran Nasir took upon himself to fight for the rights of these victims but one by one all the victims stepped away or simply disappeared. Just last week a plaza completely collapsed flat in Bahria Town and the video went viral. TV channels and talk show hosts have yet again maintained their silence. No one knows how many died or got injured in the incident. In the aftermath of the collapse, dozens were allegedly beaten by Bahria Town security for capturing the fall and making it viral. Not a single FIR has been filed against anyone, no one has been held accountable. The worrying bit is not the crimes that our man has been accused of but the fear that has been instilled in opinion makers which stops them from making any comment about him or starting a debate. It is unethical to label anyone with an accusation without going to the court to prove it. But in the Karachi land case, the fortune is there, the crime is there and a judgment has also been made. One has to respect Dawn and Rauf Klasra for raising this issue but why are the rest of our opinion makers silent? Has the vast fortune of Malik Riaz bought the politicians who fight for rights, silenced the media owners who fight for freedom of speech, and overpowered the saviours in Pindi always looking to mend the wrongdoings? Concluding in the words of Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Banay hain ahl-è-hawas mudayi bhi munsaf bhi Kisay wakeel karen kis se munsafi chahein The writer is a student of Politics and works with the Government on Research and Policy. Handles twitter @aukniazi Published in Daily Times, May 23rd 2018.