“The prodigal son”


Mr Arif Nizami, in his recent article “The prodigal son” (09 June), has touched a most sensitive story that revolves around the personality of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. His analysis is based on ground realities and has raised valid questions for which it may be difficult to get their answers. The CJP had waged a war against corruption and was ruthless in dealing high profile cases and personalities, including Prime Minister’s son and Chaudhry’s son Moonis Illahi.
Keeping in view the dangerous path chosen by CJ he should have been extra careful not only about his own son but relatives and near and dear ones. The writer has rightfully questioned the wisdom on the part of CJ as to how could it escape his eyes from the lifestyle adopted by his son with known small income moving in expensive cars when he himself does not own a house and a car. It is good on the part of the CJ to disown his son and close doors of his house and step down from the bench till such time the case is over but the damage has been done.
The nation is shocked that a chief justice who is considered a messiah of 180 million people of Pakistan should face such embarrassment at the hands of his own son. By profession Arsalan is a doctor and has served in different departments. He was in full senses what he was doing. The fact of the matter is that negative forces were deployed in full strength to malign the CJ in some scandal to reduce the suo motus on mega corruption cases. Malik Riaz is a known estate tycoon of the country and his close links in the corridors of power is an open secret. This single factor should have been sufficient indicator for Arsalan to keep distance from him.
Another important question that must be agitating every body’s mind as to why our media failed to unearth this scandal in 2009 when Arsalan for the first time went on a foreign trip paid for by the estate tycoon, why we waited for three years, needs some answer. Fingers are being pointed against khakis’ involvement due to the issue of missing persons is based on wrong perception, because this issue has come up now whereas Arsalan has been making hay while the sun has been shining since 2009. The CJ may still face criticism urging him to step down purely on moral grounds. If that happens that would simply mean that the plotters have succeeded in their mission and that should be the last thing to happen. The writer’s suggestion to probe the case through investigating agencies (good or bad) merits consideration and should be welcomed, but I would add that this case under no circumstances should be prolonged and decided within a few weeks, not like memogate whose outcome is still awaited.
There can be no disagreement with the writer that the institution that was held in high esteem and distinguished itself from rest of the institutions of the country has been damaged beyond repair and has shocked the general public that how CJ’s son was working against his father right under his nose for money without giving any consideration to his father’s position. Lastly, a very important point that needs thorough probe by the investigators is not why Malik Riaz trapped Arsalan but who used Malik Riaz to stage this grand drama.