Malik Riaz Hussain, one of the richest men in Pakistan, is nothing short of an enigma. Not only does he get away with admitting that he pays off massive bribes to politicians and judges on record, he manages to evade incrimination in every case that has ever been registered against him. This time however the allegation is leveled against the other Riaz, his son, chief executive of Bahria Town, Malik Ali Riaz.

He has been booked for attempted murder; reportedly he threatened and shot a villager, Ghulam Abbas for not vacating his 100-year-old village, which is located within the limits of Bahria Town. An FIR was registered on the insistence of many villagers, also eyewitnesses to the crime. But Bahria Town spokesperson and Malik Riaz’s personal staff officer, retired Col Khalilur Rehman insists that Malik Ali Riaz has been in Dubai for the last three months, and hence cannot be implicated in this case. Who will the courts and judges believe, the poor villagers or the son of a billionaire?

Gleaning from what was sad in an interview in May 2015, Malik Riaz clearly thinks he is untouchable. Despite admitting openly that he paid bribes to every official from top to bottom, Malik Riaz seemingly has a get out of jail free card in his pocket, alongside the officials he continues to pay off. Obviously his son is of the same opinion. In an ideal world justice would be served to everyone regardless of caste and creed; rich or poor would be equal in the eyes of the law and a murder would never go unpunished. But in the real world, especially in Pakistan, this rarely happens.

In a public deposition of 2012, he admitted that he had sponsored the playboy lifestyle of the son of the country’s chief justice in return for favourable treatment in court cases related to his empire. Yet the case magically got stalled and buried deep within dust laden legal documents. If it was corruption allegations yesterday, it is attempted murder today. His philanthropic activities do not wash off the crimes committed by him or his son. Malik Riaz is a product of the moral puzzle our society has created, where hate-speech wears an untouchable mantel of religiosity, where nationalism disallows criticism and where crime goes hand in hand with altruism. Obviously power gives influence, enough to protect one of your own, and the Bahria Town mogul will not allow his son to face the music.