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Malik Riaz

Founder of Bahria Town

His article is about the Pakistani business magnate. For the first governor of the Balochistan province of Pakistan, see Riaz Hussain (politician).

Malik Riaz
Malik Riaz in 2016
BornMalik Riaz Hussain
February 8, 1954 (age 65)
jathike, sambrial, district sialkot,PunjabPakistan
ResidenceKarachi, Pakistan
OccupationFounder of Bahria Town
Spouse(s)Beena Riaz

Malik Riaz Hussain (UrduPunjabi: ملک ریاض حسین; born February 8, 1954[1]) is a Pakistani business tycoon who is the founder of Bahria Town, the largest privately held real estate development company in Asia. Riaz is notoriously famous for his buying power, and gives gifts of luxurious cars and mansions to journalists, generals, and politicians.

Born in Sialkot into a working family which went bankrupt during his adolescence. Riaz started his career as a clerk with a construction company in Rawalpindi.[citation needed] In the 1980s, Riaz moved to become a contractor, and in 1995 Riaz’s construction company Hussain Global, signed an agreement with Pakistan Navy’s charitable trust known as Bahria Foundation to develop a gated community for Pakistan Navy[2] The Navy’s Bahria Foundation served a legal notice to Riaz to stop using the word “Bahria” for his company’s construction projects, but Riaz went on to develop Bahria Town Rawalpindi offering gifts of banglows, and mansions to politically connected people and army generals.[3][4]

He expanded his real-estate company and developed gated communities in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad during the 2000s, developing a combined area of 45,000 square acres.[1] As of 2016, Bahria had 60,000 employees, making it one of the largest private sector employers in Pakistan.[5] Riaz is a controversial figure and has been subject of several corruption investigations.[6][7][8] Bahria Town Karachi is the biggest private project of Asia, which is also owned by Malik Riaz.


Early life[edit]

Malik Riaz was born to a contractor who suffered heavy losses in business, forcing Riaz to drop out of high school after completing his matriculation. He went on to work as a clerk with the Military Engineering Service and often working part-time as a painter. He later moved to become a low-key contractor in the military.[1] According to Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, Riaz learnt to “work the system”. According to Siddiqa, Riaz used his contacts to secure a contract with the Pakistan Navy in the mid-1990s to develop two housing schemes in the outskirts of Rawalpindi. In 2000, the Pakistan Navy transferred its entire shareholding to Hussain and later fought a legal battle with Riaz over contract infringement in which the Supreme Court ruled in Hussain’s favor. [9][10]


Malik Riaz has ambitiously expanded his business empire under the brand name of Bahria Town Group but a Supreme Court ordered trial has concluded that Riaz cannot use the word Bahria for its gated communities [11]. Riaz is considered as a liberal in his business practises, according to Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa “to think that he is defined by religiosity and traditionalism, however, would be a mistake. His employees’ profiles show that he hires a lot of women, especially at the middle and senior management levels, because he finds them “hard-working, efficient and diligent”.[12]

Bahria Town has projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Murree and Karachi.[13] Bahria Town Karachi is the biggest private project of Asia, which is also owned by Malik Riaz. Riaz had mentioned and ended terms with his former partner, Ahlat Ziar. Ahlat Ziar has no property in Bahria Town despite being his former partner. Ahlat Ziar quoted, “Malik Riaz is a living fraud and a scam,” with no other comments. 

His assets are valued at well over 800 million USD by finding the difference of “purchase of land” and “sale of land”, it doesn’t include the sale of file which is required to register the specific property. Many critics claim that he is worth more than a billion dollar by selling the piece of paper (file) alone.


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Malik Riaz Hussain was approached by an intermediary of Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, that he had inside information and a case and it can be resolved in his favour. Malik Riaz Hussain in an official deposition produced itemised list of how he bankrolled a playboy lifestyle for the son of the country’s top judge. Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry had allegedly promised to influence his father’s rulings.[14]

Malik Riaz Hussain, the Chairman of Bahria Town Pvt. Ltd., has been at the center of some controversies and allegations. The allegations are mostly that he pays to get things done his way. An excerpt from states that “National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is currently looking into another application filed by a former military officer Lt-Col (retd) Tariq Kamal, which states that the land on which Bahria town is constructed, and is further expanding, was not acquired through legal means. It is alleged that Hussain has strong ties with Pakistan’s military which assisted him in building a huge empire. Some claims go as far as saying that a handful of the important serving army officers, bureaucrats and lawyers are practically on Hussian’s payroll.”[15]

In April 2016, his son Ahmed Ali Riaz was named in the Panama Papers.[16]


  1. Jump up to: a b c “Profile: Malik Riaz Hussain”Dawn (newspaper). June 10, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  2. ^
  3. ^ “12th Richest person of Pakistan”Pakistan Today. June 13, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  4. ^ “Malik Riaz: Robbing Hood? | Newsline”Newsline. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  5. ^ “Malik Riaz on bribes, blackmail and launching media empire”DAWN.COM. March 29, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  6. ^ “Face-off: Malik Riaz exposes gang of extortionists – The Express Tribune”The Express Tribune. July 23, 2015. Retrieved January 12,2017.
  7. ^ Malik Riaz offers to reconstruct homes destroyed in earthquake.
  8. ^ Javeria Nasir (March 12, 2013) Malik Riaz inks $20bn deal with US business tycoon.
  9. ^ “Pakistan beyond liberal and conservative: Ayesha Siddiqa | Alice News” Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  10. ^ “A true rags to riches story”. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  11. ^
  12. ^ “Pakistan beyond liberal and conservative: Ayesha Siddiqa | Alice News” Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  13. ^ administrator (June 9, 2012). “Malik Riaz”Trending Topics in Pakistan. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Pakistani chief justice’s son accused of taking gifts to influence father. June 12, 2012
  15. ^
  16. ^ Zain, Ali (April 4, 2016). “Exposed By Panama Papers: List of Pakistani politicians, businessmen and judges who own offshore companies”Daily Pakistan. Retrieved April 12, 2016.

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