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July 7, 2020

Uzair, Morai, Baldia JIT reports out: No PPP leaders named in probes

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July 7, 2020

Uzair, Morai, Baldia JIT reports out: No PPP leaders named in probes

KARACHI: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report of Lyari gang warfare kingpin, Uzair Baloch, has recommended the case to be dealt with under the Army Act for espionage as the alleged Lyari gang warfare kingpin passed on secret information regarding the Pakistan Army installations to the Iranian intelligence besides being involved in a mayhem of targeted killings and politically-motivated murders of rival gangsters and civilians. The JIT also advised framing new charges against the accused for weapons discovered from various areas in the city, which were pointed out by Baloch.

The JIT report also revealed that Uzair Baloch met with the Iranian intelligence officers while staying with a friend in the Iranian port city of Chabahar in 2014, which was arranged by Haji Nasir. "The accused was found involved in espionage activities by providing secret information and sketches regarding the army installations and officers to Iranian intelligence officers," the JIT wrote in its findings.

Uzair Jan Baloch an activist originally from Lyari in Karachi was the key gangster of Lyari's notorious gang warfare. He also headed the Peoples Aman Committee, which was a militant group allegedly linked to a political party. This report is among the three high profile JITs that were made finally public bythe provincial government on Monday. Spread over 36 pages, the JIT report mentions Uzair confessing to merciless killing of 198 people on the basis of ethnicity and ongoing turf war with other gangs. “Baloch also wielded wide influence and got seven appointed as SHOs in Sindh Police.” But if this was not all, Iqbal Bhatti was also appointed SP Lyari at his behest, while he also got Muhammad Raeesi appointed Lyari’s administrator. Raeesi was allegedly wanted in cases pertaining to murder of several police and Rangers officials.

Successfully evading arrests in Pakistan, he managed to flee to Dubai from where he continued to send 'extortion' money worth millions to Pakistan, the report says. Baloch also purchased firearms and invested in properties outside Pakistan from illegal wealth from 2008 till 2013. The six-member JIT formed by the Sindh government in February 2016 to interrogate Baloch, comprising representatives of security and intelligence agencies, unanimously declared him as "black", finding conclusive evidence of his involvement and that of his gang in a large number of politically-motivated murders and target killings of ethnic rivals. According to this report, he also operated a 16-man gang that conducted gang war and indulged in other serious crimes at his behest.

Baloch was arrested in 2006 from Thatta and was convicted on seven different counts and spent 10 months in jail. Baloch also confessed to helping his mentor ‘Taju’ escape to Dubai and then to Africa, besides 10 others. The weapons, according to JIT used by Baloch and the Lyari gang, were purchased from Lala Tawwakal and Saleem Pathan while fake documentation for all his accomplices was provided by Iran. A woman, Ayesha, played a vital role in acquiring fake identifications for the Lyari gangsters from Iran. He also admitted to undertaking organised robberies of transportation trucks which were then sold off into the black market.

His confessions reveal blood curdling crimes he committed including the killing of 11 traders of the Shershah scrap market in 2010 for having sympathy with a political party and giving extortion money to them. He also admitted to the cold blooded, gruesome abduction-cum-killing of his rival gangster Arshad Pappu and two others with the assistance of certain police officers as a revenge for the killing of his father. In June, the prison authorities disclosed that a military court had sentenced Uzair Jan Baloch to 12 years rigorous imprisonment after convicting him of espionage.

Also on Monday, the Sindh government released the 26-page JIT report of the Baldia factory tragedy that claimed over hundreds of innocent lives. In its conclusive report, the JIT established the Baldia Town factory inferno as an act of ‘terrorism’, rejecting it as an accident, where over 250 people were burnt alive on September 11, 2012, in Karachi. In spine chilling investigation, the investigators disclosed that the factory was torched over non-payment of Rs200 million as extortion money. According to a copy of the JIT obtained by The News, “Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee head Hammad Siddiqui and Rehman Bhola demanded extortion money from the factory owner. After factory owners refused to pay money, MQM members burned the factory down.”

Similarly, another JIT report has suggested registration of NAB and anti corruption references against Dr Nisar Ahmed Jan Memon alias Dr Nisar Morai for making millions of rupees through illegal means as a key frontman of former home minister Zulfiqar Mirza. They have also recommended registering an FIR for his involvement in the murder of Sajjad Hussain in which he was already a proclaimed offender as well as FIRs for possession of illegal weapons.

The JIT was constituted by Govt of Sindh for Dr Nisar Ahmed Jan Memon alias Dr Nisar Morai on April 19, 2016. During the JIT proceedings, the accused revealed carrying out criminal activities under the political patronage, mostly under that of former home minister of Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Mirza. He admitted gifting weapons to the former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza who also gifted him highly valued weapons, thus cementing a long mutually beneficial relationship. He further claimed that the licenses of most of his weapons were arranged by political figures. He named Sultan Qamar Siddiqui as one of those who supplied him weapons.

The accused admitted collecting huge amounts of extortion from vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui of Fishermen Cooperative Society on a monthly basis. In 2011, Morai provided Rs20 million to his friend Sarfaraz Memon of Moro District, Naushero Feroz, as investment in a petrol pump and an oil factory. Besides, he conceded taking Rs0.5 million from Sarfaraz Memon on monthly basis. In June-July 2014, the accused expelled about 150 persons from the Fisheries only to reinstate them after threats from another notorious Lyari gangster Baba Ladla.

As a scintillating disclosure, Morai said he first met with gangster Uzair Baloch along with Dr Zulfiqar Mirza at his house at Lyari in 2010 following which he held series of meetings with him on the directions of the former home minister. Also in 2010, Morai and Dr Mirza met with Afaq Ahmed, Chairman MQM-Haqiqi, in Central Jail, Karachi, and provided financial support, arms and ammunition to MQM-H to strengthen them against the rival Altaf- led MQM-A.

Morai enjoyed an enduring and mutually beneficial relationship with Zulfiqar Mirza. Earlier in 2010, the former home minister, Morai, along with a major land grabber Zafar Farid, started land grabbing in Surjani Town allegedly with the active support of DSP Javed Abbas and Inspector Musadiq Rafiq, SHO Surjani. Morai confessed to making Rs40 million from this land grabbing alone.

According to the JIT, Morai said to have 'gifted' a bullet-proof vehicle worth Rs10.8 million and a rifle valuing Rs1.8 million from the money made from land grabbing to Dr Zulfiqar Mirza.

The accused gained the former minister's trust and disclosed that in 1997-98, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza told him of his involvement in drugs smuggling across the Chachro border in 1982-83. The accused also helped Mirza in his 2008 election campaign. Interestingly, following falling out with PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, in 2011, Dr Mirza tried to mend fences with PPP leader in Dubai who turned down the request.

The JIT members unanimously declared accused Dr Nisar as ‘Black’ in the light of his criminal and corruption history and recommended criminal proceedings against him. The accused was also found involved in the murder case of Sajjad Hussain in which he was already a proclaimed offender. Former chairperson of the Fishermen Cooperative Society Dr Nisar Ahmed Morai started his career as a doctor in Naushero Feroze at a government institution during the PPP's tenure in 1989 and later got transferred to a dispensary in Karachi's Ibrahim Haidery in 2009. Later, was appointed as the chairperson of the Fishermen Cooperative Society on January 9, 2014. It was alleged that his appointment was ordered by MPA Faryal Talpur, who is also the sister of PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari. Dr Morai was arrested in 2016.