KARACHI: As Lyari gangster Uzair Jan Baloch is in the custody of the Pakistan Rangers, his gang members are busy making peace with the splinter group led by Noor Mohammad, alias Baba Ladla, it emerged here on Friday.

Sajid Baloch from Pak Colony, one of the key members in the fight between the two splinter groups of the defunct Peoples Aman Committee, which faced a split after the Rangers-led operation began in Sep 2013, recently joined forces with Baba Ladla and Ghaffar Zikri, according to a source.

At the same time, the two men also roped in Bilal Rashid, also known as Bilal Pappu, nephew of Mohammad Arshad alias Arshad Pappu, and Sarban, Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Dakait’s son to lead Ladla’s men in Jahanabad, Rexer Lane (Hasan Aulia Road) and Golimar, which falls within the Pak Colony police jurisdiction. Two young relatives of Ma’ab Baloch, a young member of Uzair’s gang — shot dead during a paramilitary operation in the area last year — also compromised with Ladla’s gang for fear.

With these developments, the source adds, “the gang war will more or less continue as youngsters from the fourth generation of gangsters will keep it going.”

The other key figures to join Ladla’s gang is Laal Mohammad Magsi, indicted by an antiterrorism court in Feb 2012 for carrying out the Shershah Scrap Market killings in Oct 2010, with Haji Riasat, alias Riasat Hazara, an alleged drug baron supplying drugs from Sabzi Mandi and Pak Colony to other parts of the country, the source adds. Riasat was recently arrested by Rangers, who had been tailing him for the past year, Raja Gul Tabraiz, acting SHO of the Pak Colony police station told Dawn. He, however, confirmed, that “he [Riasat] had come to conclude a compromise with Ladla’s gang before his arrest”.

A day before, residents of Singhu Lane ran for cover when a hand grenade was thrown at Uzair Baloch’s home in the area, according to police officials. They said the perpetrators escaped minutes after. However, a PPP member from Singhu Lane denied that Uzair’s home was the target. He said: “It was in the hands of one of the two youngsters who illegally patrol the streets in the evening. It fell out of his hands which got interpreted as an attack on Uzair’s home.”

Along with these developments, local leaders of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are reportedly under threat from the gangsters after the killing of two of their leaders in the past one year.

Recently, the family of a local leader of the JI, Abdul Waheed, who was allegedly shot dead by the gangsters around Fajr prayers in Pak Colony earlier this month, moved to another area amid threats, the source added.

Last year, two brothers of Waheed were also killed by the gangsters linked to the Arshad Pappu gang, according to the police.

A spokesperson for the JI, Zahid Askari, said: “There was another family apart from Waheed’s who decided to move as well, as we were unable to provide them shelter.” The reasons for the shootouts, Mr Askari added, “is the fear of the other and the amount of work other political parties are putting in the area’s development”. He, however, also added that there were many youngsters from Lyari who were “cooperative and like the work we do”.

Similarly, Mir Ishtiaq Baloch, alias Mullah Pappu, brother of PML-N leader Mir Ashfaq Baloch, was shot dead in Baghdadi in January hours before a peace rally was to be held in the area.

The source added that with “members of these splinter groups resurfacing once again, they’d soon want to violently reclaim the space which they believe belongs to them.”

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2016

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