Uzair Baloch mystery

Published January 31, 2016

AT times our law-enforcement and security agencies work in ways that are unconventional to say the least. Take the example of the arrest of Uzair Baloch, a shadowy figure in Karachi’s underworld. His arrest was announced by the Rangers on Saturday. Apparently Baloch, who heads the banned People’s Amn Committee based in Lyari and allegedly has political links, was picked up “outside Karachi” by the paramilitary force. Yet the arrest has raised several questions; for example, how did Baloch, who had reportedly been detained in Dubai in 2014, make his way to Karachi? In fact, Pakistani police officials had travelled to the emirate to get a hold of him, but returned empty-handed. The authorities need to explain how Uzair Baloch ended up on Karachi’s outer rim when his last sighting was in the UAE.

The suspect’s arrest has uncanny similarities with the apprehending of two men wanted in the Imran Farooq murder case; these individuals were said to have been captured in Chaman, the Balochistan town on the Afghan border. They were earlier thought to be in the custody of the intelligence agencies. Recently, the family of one of the suspects, Khalid Shamim, has contested official claims of the arrest in Chaman; his wife has said Shamim was already in custody. These incidents indicate the need for more transparency where law-enforcement and criminal justice procedures are concerned. Security agencies obviously cannot be expected to reveal operational details, but the basic facts behind the arrest of suspects must be made public. Uzair Baloch was considered a ‘kingmaker’ in the crime-ridden area of Lyari, so much so that he allegedly vetted the PPP’s electoral candidates from the locality. Yet there are a large number of cases against the suspect, including of murder, extortion and terrorism. It is hoped public proceedings against him bring to the fore more details about the nexus of crime, militancy and politics in Karachi. Clearly, explosive details may emerge when Uzair Baloch is produced in court.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2016

Opinion

Editorial

Warming ties
05 Jul, 2022

Warming ties

BILATERAL ties with the US are clearly on the mend after an extensive rough patch under the PTI government. While ...
LNG emergency
Updated 05 Jul, 2022

LNG emergency

The problem is that Pakistan does not have sufficient cash at the moment to buy even a single LNG cargo at present prices.
The invisible half
05 Jul, 2022

The invisible half

WHAT better illustrates the Afghan Taliban’s misogynistic and mediaeval worldview than the fact that not a single...
Wise counsel
Updated 04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

Fuelling the fires of communalism for petty political gains is dangerous and can have a long-lasting impact on India’s stability.
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...