By Sarvat Hossein
Great stuff!! Pakistani TV channels have become even more entertaining and amusing than usual by staying remarkably silent on the recovery of Malik Raiz’s 190 million pounds worth of assets by the National Crime Agency (NCA) UK. The Pakistani media, especially the TV channels, have been under great scrutiny by the public at large, with Twitter possibly leading the charge on this issue.
The Public has criticized the media by posting humorous comments, saying that the way the story has been handled is in keeping with the truest form of Pakistan’s media, the so called “independent media”.
And the media has proved itself to be “Bitches of the Riches”. Amazingly, there has not been a single story on this massive news item, except in one leading newspaper.
Apparently, in August 2019, eight accounts of Malik Raiz had freezing orders placed upon them and were secured at London’s Westminster Court in connection with funds totaling around 120 million pounds. These followed an earlier freezing order in December 2018 linked to the same investigation for 20 million pounds according to the NCA UK.
The National Crime Agency UK has since transferred 190 million pounds to the Pakistan government, a transfer which has indeed been confirmed Shahzad Akbar, PM Imran Khan’s special assistant on accountability.
Twitter exploded with the earliest reactions, when the NCA UK announced the settlement of 190 million pounds with Malik Raiz, together with news of the transfer of money to Pakistani government.
Overall, the message one gathers from social media is that this intervention is a significant victory for Pakistan and a successful step in the war against corruption. At the same time however, people have also commented on the embarrassment the country has been landed with, and why a country with all its resources is able to ‘leak so much’ from its coffers.
It is noteworthy that this is the largest amount ever frozen by the UK’s NCA. The news media industry has been criticized heavily by the public, as have journalists for not writing about this massive breakthrough in the fight against illegal financial activities.
Perhaps it’s just a start, but a very welcome one at that. Most appear to be waiting impatiently for more successes in this realm of ‘house cleaning’.