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Firdous Ashiq Avoids Naming Malik Riaz While Discussing NCA Settlement

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan avoided naming Malik Riaz when asked a question about the family which had reached a settlement with United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency.

The NCA had investigated the properties of Malik Riaz, owner of Bahria Town, in the UK, and had subsequently reached a settlement of £190 million with Malik Riaz’s family.

While addressing media, Firdous Ashiq Awan was asked by a journalist to name the family which had reached the settlement. Awan avoided naming the family, and instead answered that the name of the family was in the document, which she was holding. She added that the settlement had been done in a legal manner according to the laws of the country (UK) which was an achievement.

Awan’s act of not naming Malik Riaz comes amid a general silence on the matter by the media. Majority of the English daily newspapers refrained from posting the news on their front pages.

Interestingly, following the news of the settlement, there have been efforts to switch focus away from Malik Riaz to the person who sold the properties to him – Hassan Nawaz, the son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Moreover, Malik Riaz is the chairman of one of the most valued housing societies and is alleged to frequently give luxurious gifts to politicians and military personnel. He is a controversial business tycoon in Pakistan and has been the focus of several corruption investigations.

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