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February 12, 2019

Family asked to approach competent authority for meeting Uzair Baloch


February 12, 2019

A federal law officer on Monday asked the family of alleged Lyari gangster Uzair Jan Baloch to approach the competent authority for meeting Baloch, who is in the custody of the military authorities on espionage charges.

The federal government’s attorney made his submission during a hearing of a petition in the Sindh High Court filed by Baloch’s family seeking his production before the trial court and bail in pending cases.

Petitioner Razia Bano submitted in the petition that her son Uzair Baloch was picked up by personnel of law enforcement agencies in January 2016 and had been in their custody for over a year. She submitted that Baloch was booked and charge-sheeted in 40 anti-terrorism related cases which were pending before anti terrorism courts.

She said her son was shifted from the central prison on April 12, 2017, to the military authorities and since then he was not being produced before any court of law.

The petitioner submitted that neither the trial court was conducting proceedings against the detainee nor was it issuing his production order to the jail authorities. She further stated that her family was also not being allowed to meet the detainee who was kept at an undisclosed location.

He counsel said that Baloch had a right to fair trial and requested the court to direct the trial court to order his production and grant bail him in cases pending for more than two years.

The court had earlier been informed that the custody of Baloch had been handed over to the military authorities on April 11 last year and he had to face the field general court martial for his involvement in espionage activities and working for foreign intelligence agencies.

The ministry of defence had also informed the court that investigation and recording of summary evidence with regard to Baloch’s involvement in espionage activities had been completed and he would be tried by the field general court martial under charges of Official Secret Act 1923.

The petitioner counsel said that under the Pakistan Army Act the detainee may be provided with an opportunity to meet his family members.

The federal law officer submitted that the petitioner and the wife of the detainee may submit applications to the competent authority themselves or hand over them to him so he could send it to the competent authority for meeting the detainee.

A division bench headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar asked the family to approach the authority concerned or the federal law officer for meeting the detainee, and adjourned the hearing till February 27.

Baloch, who is to be tried by a military court under charges of espionage for Iranian intelligence agencies, had confessed his association with the Pakistan Peoples Party’s central leadership, including its women’s wing leader Faryal Talpur, and made startling disclosures in a joint investigation report regarding the involvement of politicians in crimes such as killings and extortion.

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