KARACHI: The alleged “espionage” by suspected Lyari gangster Uzair Jan Baloch, which he confessed in a statement before a judicial magistrate and joint interrogation team a year ago, has already taken him to a military court for trial, but if one goes by the same documents questions emerge about the fate of those political leaders, members of parliament and senior officers in police and government services who were named either as partners of his criminal life or those who used his gang for their interests.
It all began in 2008 with his close contacts with Nusrat Mangan — mentioned as the-then jail superintendent and now serving as IG prison for past many years — during his jail term and Faisal Raza Abidi — the former senator of the Pakistan Peoples Party and now the estranged party leader.
“The two brought me to PPPP and appointed me in charge of imprisoned PPP workers. And then after the killing of Rahman Dakait in 2008 in a police encounter I was put in command to set up a strong armed gang in the name of People’s Amn Committee,” Uzair stated before the South judicial magistrate in April 2016 under Section 64 of the CrPC [Criminal Procedure Code] in a 13-page, self-written confessional statement that emerged after the army announced that he had been taken into custody.
That was just the beginning of the alleged violent life Uzair led for the next more than five years in close contact with senior PPP leaders, high-ranking police officers and members of parliament on a give-and-take basis. The alleged gangster, as documents said, used his strong gang of criminals to serve them, they provided him every protection in return.
In his statement, Uzair claimed to have executed a number of “jobs” for senior PPP leaders and police officers. He narrated how he served Abdul Qadir Patel, former Karachi PPP president and member of the National Assembly, by seizing hundreds of acres of prime land on the city’s outskirt for his business interests. Interestingly, Mr Patel is among those PPP leaders who no longer enjoy good terms with the party’s leadership.
“I was in close contact with police officers including Wasim Ahmed [thethen Karachi police chief and now retired from service], SSP Farooq Awan [still serving as the Sindh police SSP] and his brother Shahadat Awan [a prosecutor general of the Sindh government] and did several jobs for them including illegally occupying land,” stated the document.
According to the document, he used to collect Rs150,000 every month for SSP Farooq Awan. He disclosed how the Sindh government just weeks before the 2013 general elections had withdrawn his head money through a notification.
“On directives of Senator Yousuf Baloch, I met Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Faryal Talpur to pursue that case [withdrawal of head money]. On directives of Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur my head money and several cases were withdrawn,” he stated. “I was in contact with Faryal Talpur through Senator Yousuf Baloch during general elections of 2013. She awarded party tickets for the elections to Shahjehan Baloch, Javed Nagori, Abdullah Baloch and Sania Naz on my recommendations.”
He claimed to have “distributed” 500 government jobs on recommendations of Senator Yousuf Baloch among “criminals” without giving any details about the provincial or federal institutions which recruited such people.
“I helped Owais Muzaffar Tappi and Asif Ali Zardari to occupy 14 sugar mills which they later bought on lower prices,” he stated. “On Asif Zardari’s directives, I sent my 15 to 20 men to Bilawal House. They were tasked to harass occupants of 30 to 40 bungalows around Bilawal House and vacate the place. All those bungalows were later bought by Asif Zardari at very low prices.”
And then, Uzair disclosed, how and why he left the country when the Karachi operation was launched in September 2013 on directives of the top PPP leadership.
“In the backdrop of Karachi operation, Faryal Talpur called me at her home in DHA through Qadir Patel and Senator Yousuf Baloch,” said the statement. “Sharjeel Inam Memon and Nisar Morai were also present there. Faryal Talpur asked me to dump all cache of arms, hand over all affairs to Sharjeel Inam Memon, Qadir Patel and Senator Yousuf Baloch and leave the country.”
He also expressed his fears that he might be killed through police during custody and appealed to stay in Rangers’ custody.
“I fear that after these disclosures, me and my family could be killed. Therefore, I want to request for complete security because I feel extremely threatened from Zardari and other political leaders whose names I have disclosed for any revengeful act against me,” stated Uzair.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2017