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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Uzair Baloch: A gangster, an enemy spy and a former PPP’s supporter

The Sindh government has made the JIT’s report public. However, it did not mention anything about the PPP or its role in Lyari in the time of Uzair Baloch. Who was behind Baloch?

The 36-page JIT report against Uzair Baloch, a former PPP’s supporter who is known as a symbol of fear in Karachi, has been made public by the Sindh government. The report reveals horrible facts regarding the criminal activities of Baloch. Interestingly, the JIT report on notorious Lyari gangster does not mention anyone from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership, including Asif Ali Zardari or Faryal Talpur. Sindh government’s spokesperson, Murtaza Wahab, had said that his government would make the report public.

Uzair Baloch, the son of Faiz Muhammad alias Mama Faizu, a well-known transporter, who was kidnapped for ransom by Arshad Pappu, the son of Lyari gang leader Haji Lalu. Following a brief scuffle, Pappu shot Faizu, who eventually bled to death. Baloch joined a gang as he vowed to avenge his father’s murder.

PPP did not want to make the report public?

As Baloch happens to ba a former PPP’s supporter, the PPP government was reluctant to make the report public.  Ali Zaidi, federal minister for Maritime, in his petition had requested the Sindh High Court (SHC) to order Sindh government to make the report of the JIT public. He maintained that more than 250áwereáburnt to death in the Baldia factory fire, while Baloch and Morai have reportedly made some startling disclosures before the JITs.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi heard the case.

In January 2020, the SHC directed the Sindh government to make public the findings of the Joint Investigation Teams that investigated the organized crime syndicate run by Lyari gangster Uzair Baloch on Federal Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi’s petition.  The court also ordered to make the reports of the Baldia factory fire and former chairperson of Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS) Nisar Morai public.

Read More: Uzair Jan Baloch, Karachi’s most wanted man, confesses to have killed 198 persons

On May 29, 2020, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi filed a contempt of court petition against the Sindh government for not making public JIT reports public, Talking to the media here outside the SHC building, he said he had to approach the high court again as the provincial government had defied its order by not releasing the JIT reports for public Ali Zaidi recalled that he had filed the petition in the Sindh High Court in October 2017, which was disposed on January 28, 2020, with the judgment ordering the Sindh government to make the three JIT report public.

Baloch murdered police and Rangers personnel, and innocent citizens, JIT report

The investigators also listed names of Uzair Baloch’s family members, as well as exposed his accomplices who had carried out inhumane crimes including killings gang war opponents, policemen, Rangers officials and receiving extortion from citizens. The names of Habib Jan Baloch, Habib Hasan, Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla, also known as Lyari gang war commander, and dozens of others were also mentioned in the JIT report.

The JIT report revealed that seven station house officers (SHOs) had been appointed in police stations on the basis of Baloch’s political influences in order to establish an organized network of criminals in Lyari. In 2019, Iqbal Bhatti had been appointed as Town Police Office (TPO) Lyari by Uzair Baloch, whereas, Muhammad Raisi had been given charge of Lyari administrator in the same year.

He was also found involved in the killings of several police officials and Rangers personnel, as well as he purchased different genres of weaponry between 2008 and 2013. The notorious criminals linked with Lyari gang war were also involved in receiving extortion.

Read More: Protest against Bilawal showcases PPP’s status in Lyari

More than 20 accomplices of Uzair Baloch are listed in the JIT report which also mentioned a 16-member squad of the Lyari gang war criminal. In 2016, he had been arrested by security officials in the Chuhar Jamali area of Thatta. After being arrested, Baloch had been challaned in seven cases and spent 10 months behind bars.

A former PPP’s supporter: Uzair Baloch, an enemy spy?

In the last month, prison authorities disclosed that a military court had sentenced Baloch  to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment in April this year after convicting him of spying for foreign countries.

The senior superintendent of the Karachi Central Prison has disclosed this in his reply to a production order issued by the Anti-Terrorism Court-VI (ATC-VI), where Uzair Baloch is facing trial in cases pertaining to murder and other crimes.

Read More: Rains hit Sindh: PTI’s Ali Zaidi lambasts PPP governance & Bakhtawar Bhutto

“The prisoner in question [Uzair] was convicted by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Officer 1st (Self Propelled) Medium Regiment Artillery on 04.04.2020 in Pakistan Army Act Section 59 (civil offences) read with Section 3 (penalties for spying) of the Official Secret Act and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 12 years,” stated the letter dated June 13, 2020.

A gangster’s financial assets

According to the JIT’s report, Baloch owns assets worth billions of rupees in Pakistan, Dubai, Muscat, and Iran.

Among them, he has a house worth 1.1 million dirhams in Dubai, registered in his brother-in-law’s name, along with an office in Dubai International City worth 0.5 million dirhams.

In Muscat, the gangster is said to own a bungalow and a plot worth 0.9 million and 0.6 million dirhams respectively, both of which are registered in the name of his friend Shakir. He also owns Rs10 million property in Chabahar, Iran, which is registered in the name of his relative Jaleel.

The JIT report says he has more than 1million dirhams in his four bank accounts in Dubai, three of which are in the name of his wife. Along with a balance of Rs1.5million in his wife’s bank account, he owns one acre land worth Rs40 million in Chakiwara. He also owns 16 acres of land in Hub’s Raees Goth area.

Links with PPP

Uzair Baloch’s controversial links to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party in Sindh have time and again made rounds on national media. While the PPP has categorically denied all such reports, their connection has been supported by pictures and videos.

Earlier, a video footage had surfaced which showed former Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, following his post-election oath-taking ceremony, going to a dinner party organized by Uzair Baloch. He was also joined by other PPP leaders, such as Sharmeela Faruqi, Shehla Raza, Faryal Talpur, and Saeed Ghani.

Read More: Asif Ali Zardari to be indicted in Park Lane reference on July 6

Yet, the party leaders have denied their affiliation with the gangster. In an interview on May 20, 2015, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari told Geo News senior journalist Hamid Mir that “Uzair Baloch was never a part of the PPP”.

Similarly, other party leaders such as Maula Bux Chandio, Khursheed Shah and Nisar Khuhro have also denied any links with him.

Orders directly received from PPP leaders

As Uzair Baloch was arrested by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) back in 2014-15, sources claim that notorious Lyari gangster Baloch had told UAE authorities that he had committed murders allegedly on the orders of PPP leadership, including its Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari among others.

Baloch also reportedly claimed that he was in direct contact with the PPP leadership and that he had carried out targeted killings in the city on the orders of PPP leaders. Some of these orders, he claimed, came directly from the PPP co-chairman, former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza, incumbent Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and even PPP leader Owais Muzaffar Tappi.

Lyari: a stronghold of a former PPP’s supporter and PPP?

According to a report in The Nation, PPP has been using the gangsters to achieve political objectives in Sindh.  The report alleges that the PPP leadership had awarded the party tickets to the gangsters nominated by Lyari gangs kingpin Uzair Jan Baloch.

It also claims that the organized gangs were established in early 2000, and Lyari divided in between the two main gangsters including Arshad alias Papu gang led by Commander Ghaffar Zikri and Rehman alias Dakait gang with operational commander Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla.

The armed clashes continued in the locality since 2008, between the gangs of Arshad Papu and Rehman Dakait but since the PPP government come to power took the gangsters on board to make Lyari PPP stronghold.

The report revealed that Lyari remains a stronghold area of the PPP since the 1970s and the PPP had no need to adopt the gangsters to win 2008 general elections but got seats from Lyari with the support of Rehman Dakait.

Read More: Zardari about to lose his fortune?

PPP came into power while some PPP high ups trying to use gangsters as an army to give a tough time to the rival political parties as renamed the gangs as People Amman Committee (PAC). Later on, the PAC was banned.

Analysts believe that Pakistan’s broken criminal justice system is generally unable to convict any powerful person involved in corruption or terrorism. It is yet to be seen as to how do the government and opposition react to the report prepared by the JIT against a former PPP’s supporter.