KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday made the reports of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) about the killing of 259 people in a Baldia factory and Uzair Baloch public after the judiciary took cognisance of the matter on the petition of a federal minister.

The home department uploaded the JIT reports on its website making them accessible to the public while drawing varied reactions of political parties.

The Baldia factory report recommended registering of a fresh FIR on terrorism charges against the then head of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqui and seven others, whereas the JIT report on Uzair Baloch confirmed that he had “confessed” to the killing of 198 people on ethnic and political grounds and in rivalry with other gangs.

Placing him in ‘black’ category, the JIT declared Uzair Baloch, the head of now defunct Amn Committee, was involved in the killing of his rival gangsters, innocent citizens on ethnic and political grounds besides several police and Rangers personnel.

Report calls for fresh FIR on terrorism charges against former MQM leader, seven others; Uzair Baloch confesses to killing 198 people

The JIT report said he was involved in espionage activities. He confessed to killing 198 people on ethnic, political grounds as well as in gang warfare, it said, quoting him as saying that 11 traders in the Shershah junk market were killed because they were “sympathisers” of a political party and gave extortion to that party.

He also admitted that he kidnapped his rival gang leader Arshad Pappu and two others with the help of certain police officers and murdered them brutally to take revenge of his father’s killing.

The JIT report said he was also involved in extortion, land grabbing, China-cutting and narcotics trafficking.

About the deadly Baldia factory fire that claimed 259 lives, the JIT declared that it was not a fire accident rather a “planned sabotage/ terror activity” carried out over non-payment of Rs200 million extortion and partnership in factory profits.

The report held the then head of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee Hammad Siddiqi and Rehman Bhola responsible for the incident. The JIT was critical of the initial police investigation into the case and observed that the police dealt it in an unprofessional manner and in a way to benefit “the offenders” instead of the victims for some “motives and gains”. It said the “fear and favour” were dominating factors in initial investigation, which affected the police performance “length and breadth”.

The JIT recommended a fresh FIR under terror charges against eight accused including Hammad Siddiqi.

Reaction

Talking to a section of media, the leaders of different parties gave varied reactions.

Sindh minister Saeed Ghani said Uzair Baloch’s JIT report was five years old, but federal minister Ali Zaidi did not awake then. He said as the people named in the JIT had recorded their respective statements, the matter should be left to the courts to decide.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader in Sindh Haleem Adil Shaikh told the media that everyone knew that Uzair had links with the PPP leadership. He said the PTI government had made sugar report public and it was the party’s demand that the Sindh government made the JIT reports public so that people could know what had been happening in Karachi and who was responsible for it.

Dr Farooq Sattar, head of his own faction of the MQM, said the JITs had often not been helpful in holding people responsible before the court of law. He apprehended that the JITs might have been “tampered” with.

The MQM leader believed that by making the JITs report public, they might become source of media trial.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2020

Opinion

De-programming the robot
25 Jul 2021

De-programming the robot

The robot that is programmed to be a predator, to dominate, to hurt, to rape, to kill, will do as he pleases, where he pleases...
A toxic discourse
Updated 25 Jul 2021

A toxic discourse

Politics as it exists now is a catalyst for further divisions...
Cyberespionage
25 Jul 2021

Cyberespionage

Sellers of surveillance tools must be held accountable...
Managing human agency
24 Jul 2021

Managing human agency

Is the private sector able to manage the ‘human agency’ of teachers better than the public sector?...

Editorial

Noor murder case
Updated 25 Jul 2021

Noor murder case

IT would not be an exaggeration to describe Pakistan as no country for women. This truth was underscored yet again...
25 Jul 2021

Rental inflation

HOUSE rent prices soared in June by 6.21pc from 4.2pc a year ago, topping the list of 10 contributors to the urban...
Cyberattack on rights
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Cyberattack on rights

A COLLABORATIVE investigation into a data leak of software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has ...
24 Jul 2021

Sleeper cells

THERE was a time not too long ago when militant groups had unleashed a reign of terror in Pakistan, resulting in...
24 Jul 2021

Prisoners’ return

THE families of 62 Pakistani prisoners who had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia had reason to rejoice this Eid as...