ISLAMABAD – The Punjab anti-corruption director general on Thursday issued arrest orders for real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain and his son Ahmed Ali Malik in a land transfer scam case. The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in Punjab had registered a case against Hussain, his son, general manager and eight others in a criminal case involving 1,401 kanals of land in Rawalpindi in 2009.

The arrest orders were issued approximately eight months after the ACE Rawalpindi director submitted a request to the DG for approval. The arrest orders had been issued by a top official of the Punjab government at a time when the tussle between Hussain, who is also close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, with PML-N’s central leader Nisar Ali Khan, has reached its climax.

The opposition leader has also developed differences in the recent past with the Sharifs over their proximity with the Bahria Town owner. Two days ago, the ACE investigators obtained three-day physical custody of two employees of Bahria Town from the court.

Anti-Corruption Court Special Judge Malik Nazir Ahmed handed over the legal custody of Colonel (r) Saeed Akhtar, Bahria Town general manager and Muhammad Iqbal, the site superviser, to the ACE for three days.
The ACE prosecutor, however, urged the court to grant the remand to make it easy for the investigators to gather evidence and reach a conclusion. In his statement to the ACE investigators, the Bahria Town chief executive said his firm was not involved in any fraud and they had been deprived of the land they had paid for. He said his company got a criminal case registered with Rawat police after they could not get the land.

According to an earlier investigation into the case conducted on the orders of the Lahore High Court, four people including a woman sold a plot of land measuring 1,401 kanals in Malikpur Azizwal tehsil in Rawalpindi district in connivance with Rizwan. In this deal, the accused in connivance with purchasers and revenue officials deprived the original landowners of billions of rupees because they acquired the transfer and mutation of the land in the names of purchasers on fake entries and forgery in official revenue records.