Ali Zaidi, senior leader of the PTI ruling party and federal maritime minister, alleged that the Sindh government has manipulated and tampered the original Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report, JIT Report of 35 Page, against Uzair Baloch. Baloch is a notorious gangster who has confessed to having killed 198 persons. Legal experts and media commentators are also questioning the significance and utility of a JIT report of 35-page which neither establishes the motives behind the murders nor offers any evidence for the same. Will the Supreme Court of Pakistan take a suo moto notice and independently probe the matter?
Sindh government is tampered the original report, alleges PTI’s Ali Zaidi
Ali Zaidi held a press conference along with Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Information, on the recently-released “JIT report of 35 Page” on Lyari gangster Uzair Baloch.
Dig a little and you’ll find a lot of evidence!
Here is @Nabilgabol on July 31st, 2016 live on ARY openly stating that Sindh Police is refusing to sign the Uzair Baloch JIT reports. pic.twitter.com/KCf529nqth
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) July 8, 2020
The minister claimed that the “original” report was 43 pages long while the one released by the Sindh government was based on 35 pages. “Today, I am presenting the report in front of you that contains signatures on every page,” said Zaidi. “Special Branch, CID, ISI, MI, IB and Pakistan Rangers’ [officials] signatures are present in this report,” he added.
He said that the “original” report also contained the names of Dr Zulfikar Mirza, Faryal Talpur, Abdul Qadir Patel, Nisar Morai, Yousuf Baloch and Sharjeel Inam Memon, which have not been mentioned in the report released on Monday.
The minister said that the JIT report of 35-page, “interestingly, does not mention on whose behest Baloch carried out the murders or committed all the crimes”. He said that at the last page of Baloch’s sworn statement, the Lyari gangster had said he feared for his life, which he believed was under threat from Zardari and other politicians.
Zaidi requested Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed to take a suo motu notice on the Uzair Baloch JIT report released by the Sindh government, saying the original report had been tampered with.
PPP’s Murtaza Wahab resorts to personal attacks on Zaidi
Murtaza Wahab, Spokesperson of the Sindh government, has criticized Ali Zaidi and said that he has lied as he has no official documents and that Ali Zaidi is mad, needs to see a psychiatrist. Wahab termed the press conference of government ministers a waste of time. He also asked who those people are giving these documents to the Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs. No such documents were given to the Sindh government, he clarified.
علی زیدی نے کہا”عزیر بلوچ نے158 قتل کرنے کا اعتراف کیاایک قتل کے بارے میں کہا”قادر پٹیل کے قریبی ساتھی کےقتل کا بدلہ لینے کے لئے قادر پٹیل کے کہنے پر عزیرنے کیامان لیاایسا ہی ہوا،علی زیدی بہت جانتے ہیں تو یہ بھی جانتے ہوں گے بقیہ157 قتل کروانےوالے کا نام بتائیں گے یا ہمت نہیں ہے
— Syeda Shehla Raza (@SyedaShehlaRaza) July 7, 2020
He objected that JIT legally forms by the government and the question is, if no one signed the documents, who gave them to Ali Zaidi? This is proof that Ali Zaidi is doing the same thing as it has been done in the past to make documents.
“If I write on paper that Ali Zaidi is not mentally fit, it will be meaningless,” he said. Confirmation of mental health of Ali Zaidi can only be done after a doctor s signature.
PPP used Aman Committee gangs to counter MQM gangs in Karachi?
Militant groups freely operated in Karachi predominantly patronized by the MQM in former President Pervez Musharraf’s era. This was MQM’s resurgence to street power under Musharraf era after being reduced through police actions in 1990s.
Altaf Hussain and his hand picked cronies got a free hand to ensure that the party regains its earlier militant muscle. Sources claim that to counter the militant wing of MQM, the PPP decided to create Amman Committee and use gangsters like Aslam and Uzair Baloch to maintain its presence in the city.
Notably, back in 2013, then DG Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhtar said that militant wings of political parties are responsible for the ongoing violence in the city. The DG Rangers appeared before the apex court’s Karachi registry for proceedings regarding the implementation of orders passed in the suo motu case.
Then-Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry headed the five-member bench, which also comprised Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Muhammad Athar Saeed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, as its members.
Uzair Baloch’s close links with PPP leaders
Moreover, Baloch 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.
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”.
Waseem Badami, a prominent TV anchor, interviewed Baloch’s family in 2016 and asked them if they had ever any association with the PPP. Baloch’s family told Badami that the PPP government gave several awards to Baloch in recognition of his humanitarian work. Interestingly, one award was given to Baloch was ‘peace award’ which shocked the anchor.
In the last 48 hours, ARY News has shown several clips of Uzair Baloch meeting key PPP leaders like Faryal Talpur. Clips show him not as a bystander or “someone just present” but in important close interaction, with key PPP leaders like Faryal Talpur sister of ex-President Asif Ali Zardari and others like Qaim Ali Shah, ex-CM of Sindh.
JIT report does not identify the motive behind the murders
One of the basic principles of criminal law is to determine the motive behind the murder in order to convict any person. As a matter of observation, every day the courts in Pakistan release several accused persons on the basis of the same; no substantial motive behind the murder could be found to convict the accused person. In legal practice its called “chain of events”; prosecution has to prove through interconnected pieces of evidence that the accused had the means, capacity, access and motives to do the crime.
The JIT report of 35-page as released by the Sindh government merely presents confessional statements of Uzair Balcoh, it mentions his admissions of killing several people but it fails to address or explain his motives for those killings. It is important to understand that victims were not related to him to help understand his motives. JIT Report thus fails to explain the significance and context of those apparently political nature killings. JIT Report of 35 pages mentions when and where but fails to address the basic question of: Why?
Kamran Murtaza, a senior advocate of Supreme Court and former President of Supreme Court Bar Association, told Hamid Mir in his talk show Capital Talk that “the report’s language reveals that it only contains disclosure, not any recovery in its pursuance. What evidence has been collected by the JIT?”
Murtaza also pointed out that it is yet to be seen as to what legal significance of disclosure is in front of the members of the JIT. Precisely, the legal utility of the JIT report of 35-page is questionable.
The incumbent chief justice, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, has been seen taking “Suo Moto Notices” to address matters related to the public interest. Justice Gulzar was also member of the Supreme Court Bench that had authorised and directed Sindh Rangers to restore law and order in Karachi in 2013 under the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. Analysts believe that the case in consideration is far more important than an inquiry commission on sugar prices. Therefore, the court is expected to take the matter up and determine who was behind the widespread violence and organized crimes in Karachi for the past several years. Unless that is done the “JIT Report of 35 Pages” is little more than collection of paper and ink.
GVS Analysis by News Desk with input from Assistant Editor Farah Adeed