KARACHI: Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab on Tuesday shot back hard at the ruling PTI's Ali Zaidi after the latter unloaded a barrage of criticism over the authenticity of the JIT reports released a day earlier by the provincial government.
Wahab questioned the source of the "other" report that Zaidi had claimed existed and was "different from the original", wondering aloud about the PTI leader's "mental stability".
Zaidi — who seems to have picked up the gauntlet to scrutinise the report on Uzair Baloch, the kingpin of the gang war in Karachi's Lyari — had alleged that the report had been tampered with and urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo moto notice in this regard.
In response, the Sindh government spokesperson claimed Zaidi had presented a "counterfeit" report to "malign" the PPP. "Such papers have been instrumental in discrediting the political leadership in the past," he said.
"The allegations made by Ali Zaidi were false, untrue, and baseless. Ali Zaidi said that an original JIT report exists that bears no signatures.
"Who is giving him these documents? Are you drafting this report on your laptop? What is your source," asked Wahab in a press conference held in Karachi.
"How can it be that a JIT report was made but no one signed it? So no one was ready to own the report?"
Wahab said Zaidi had then "acknowledged that the report put forth by the Sindh government contains all the signatures, of seven people, including the JIT head and members of law enforcement agencies".
"Then he says there is one more JIT [report] that has four signatures and that has been sent. To whom has it been sent? The Sindh government, which constituted the JIT, has not received a copy. It has neither been submitted to any court of law," said the Sindh government spokesperson.
"Ali Zaidi is a federal minister. He has been appointment on a post which bears much responsibility.
"Can a fedeal minister wave documents which contain no signatures on the floor of the House? Can he level the kind of serious allegations he is leveling on the basis of a plain paper," Wahab asked.
Wahab said Zaidi had done nothing in his briefing but talked about the "same old things" and had "wasted the nation’s time".
Referring to a session of the National Assembly in which Zaidi had waved about the JIT report, Wahab said: "Ali Zaidi swore on the floor of the House that whatever he is saying are not his words but that which is contained in the JIT. He has admitted today that he never had any official documents."
"[Zaidi] said three JITs were made [in the Uzair Baloch case]. There is always one JIT formed," Wahab said.
He said that in all the three cases — Uzair Baloch, Nisar Morai, and Baldia factory inferno — whose reports had been made public by the Sindh government, it was the Sindh government that had formed a JIT.
The spokesperson said official documents were always signed and stamped, as were these reports. "We promised to present a certified JIT and we fulfilled that promise.
"Zaidi said he has a JIT with four signatures. Was that report submitted to Zaidi," asked Wahab, questioning the PTI minister's "mental stability" and saying the latter "had lied on the floor of the House".
Zaidi, while asking Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed to take a suo motu notice on the Uzair Baloch JIT report, had alleged the original report had been tampered with.
"It was our party's efforts [...] The JIT reports were not being made public," he said.
The minister said that the report, "interestingly, does not mention on whose behest Baloch carried out the murders or committed various other crimes".
Reading from the JIT report, Zaidi said Uzair had confessed that he met former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP leader Faryal Talpur to have the head money on him waived off.
He said on the last page of Baloch's sworn statement, the Lyari gangster had said he feared for his life, which he believed was under threat from Zardari and other politicians.
Zaidi further alleged that the Sindh government had been reluctant to release the JIT report and said that its release would prove to be harmful for the nation's security.
The minister claimed that the "original" report was 43-page long while the one released by the Sindh government was based on 35 pages.
He said that the "original" report also contained the names of Dr Zulfikar Mirza, Faryal Talpur, Abdul Qadir Patel, Nisar Morai, Yousuf Baloch, and Sharjeel Inam Memon, which have not been mentioned in the report released on Monday.
He said the JIT had people from the Special Branch and the Crime Investigation Department, from the Sindh government, as well as officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Rangers, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and Military Intelligence (MI).
"Those from the federal government have signed the report, but those from Sindh government have not."
The minister further alleged that the "original" JIT mentioned that PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel had tasked Baloch to murder a man who had killed his [Patel's] coordinator, and the information was missing from the released JIT report.
Earlier today, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi indicted Baloch for kidnapping and murder of trader Abdul Samad.
While reading out the charge sheet today, the court said the Lyari gang war leader had been accused of kidnapping Samad and asking his family for Rs1 million as ransom. The trader was murdered after Baloch had been paid Rs70,000.
Baloch was arrested in 2016 by Rangers having confessed to 198 murders. The gangster had 65 cases registered in different police stations of the city. He had also confessed to embezzling funds.
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