Legacy of British Raj

The recent judgment made by the Islamabad High Court to protect and preserve the sanctity of land by halting construction at the Margalla Hills National Park was long overdue, given the tendency of powerful land mafias to illegally occupy land. When state funded institutions indulge in such irregularities, the trust and confidence of the people are likely to be compromised. All this can be avoided if principles such as “conflict of interest” are upheld and the Constitution reigns supreme.
The British colonial occupation used state lands and titles to buy the loyalties of the natives and forcefully took over the lands and properties of those who dared to defy them. In 1943, the Raj invoked the Defense of India Rules to dispossess Muhammad Ali Jinnah of his house, as the Viceroy of the time did not want Jinnah to be more actively involved in Punjab politics. British officers could not dare to take over state lands in the UK, where the writ of the law prevails and no man or institution can even think of defying the law. This could only be done by their occupational force in their colonies. It is unfortunate that even after seven decades of independence, the Constitution is being flagrantly defied by a handful of people blinded by greed and wealth.
When the writ of the law and supremacy of the Constitution becomes slave to the whims of powerful groups, criminal elements and extremists emerge and start using threats and intimidation to defy the majesty of the law. Such states become sanctuary to criminals of all shades and thus national sovereignty and security is compromised.
Malik Tariq Ali
Lahore

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