KARACHI: As the joint investigation team found that Uzair Baloch had allegedly worked for an Iranian intelligence agency, it has recommended that the head of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee be tried by a military court for ‘espionage’, it emerged on Sunday.

The JIT report signed by representatives of the Sindh police, Rangers and intelligence agencies was sent to the home department on April 29 for “perusal and necessary action”.

According to the JIT report, a copy of which is available with Dawn, Uzair Baloch was involved in “espionage activities by providing secret information regarding army installations and officials to foreign agents (Iranian intelligence officers) which is a violation of the Official Secret Act 1923”.

The report quoted the Lyari gangster as telling the members of the JIT that he fled to Iran after the Rangers launched an operation in Karachi in 2013. “He was living with his friend, Malik Baloch, in Chabahar, where he met Haji Nasir who held dual nationality.”

Nasir offered Uzair to shift to Tehran permanently where he would be provided a residence with no cost, as Nasir had “good relations with Iranian intelligence officers and he can arrange his meeting with them”.

As Uzair gave his consent, the JIT report said, a meeting was arranged where he met an Iranian intelligence official who tasked him to “provide certain information about [Pakistani] armed forces officials besides general security environment of the city [Karachi]”.

He told the JIT that of his 14 lieutenants, six were still living in Chabahar.

The JIT members “strongly recommended” to the government to try Uzair under the Pakistan Army Act for his alleged involvement in “espionage”.

Besides his alleged involvement with the unnamed Iranian intelligence outfit, the JIT report accused Uzair and his gangsters of carrying targeted killings on political and ethnic grounds.

He was also found involved in the killing of several police and Rangers officials and his arch-rival Arshad Pappu. He ran an extortion racket and was also allegedly involved in land-grabbing, ‘china-cutting’ and drugs trafficking.

The JIT came to the conclusion that Uzair Baloch and his PAC had turned the city’s oldest neighbourhood Lyari as his own fiefdom and “put the entire city in a state of fear where no one was feeling safe especially in and around Lyari”.

Uzair told the JIT that he kidnapped his rival Arhsad Papu, his brother Yasir Arafat and Shera Pathan and got them killed in order to take revenge of the killing of his father.

He told the investigators that certain policemen — Inspector Yusuf Baloch, SHO Javed Baloch and Inspector Chand Khan Niazi — helped him in kidnapping the three men in police mobiles.

Uzair said that the bodies of the three men were set on fire and later the remains were disposed of in a gutter. Then he threatened all eyewitnesses that “if they tried to disclose the incident, they will be murdered likewise”, said the JIT report The Lyari gangster also disclosed that even Rangers had sought his help when their two personnel went missing in Lyari.

He said that in March 2013, Sher Mohammed Shaikh alias Shero, said to be associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement who worked for him, told him that he kidnapped two Rangers personnel as they were collecting intelligence about Uzair’s gang.

Uzair said that he ordered Shero to wait for two days and “in the meanwhile, accused [Uzair Baloch] was approached by Rangers for getting [information about] the whereabouts of their missing personnel, on which he [Uzair] pretended to be ignorant about them”, said the JIT report.

“After confirmation of their involvement in gathering information about the accused [Uzair] gang, he ordered Shero to kill them with the intention that the MQM will be blamed for their brutal murders,” it added.

He also “confessed” that on his directive, Amin Buledi killed Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former Lyari town nazim Malik Mohammed Khan in Lea Market for his alleged “anti-Baloch statements” and making “fun of Baloch”.

He also told the JIT that a chairman of the Fishermen Cooperative Society, Saeed Khan, was giving him Rs2 million extortion on a monthly basis.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2016