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Uzair Baloch was an 'Iranian spy', says Sindh govt report

News Agencies | Updated on: 8 July 2020, 10:58 IST

Uzair Jan Baloch, the alleged Lyari-based gangster, passed on secret information regarding Pakistan Army installations to the Iranian intelligence, and was behind a large number of targetted killings as well as politically motivated murders of rival gangmen and civilians, as per a report divulged by a special Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Sindh government.

According to Dawn, the Sindh government made public the JIT reports of three high-profile cases -- concerning Baloch, the Baldia factory fire incident and former chairman of the Fishermen Cooperative Society Nisar Morai -- after much controversy and litigation in courts on Monday.

The report unanimously declared Baloch as "black" -- guilty of the crimes, finding that the gangster along with his other gang members were involved in a large number of murders and target killings of his rivals and innocent citizens, including ethnic and "politically motivated killings".

"The accused has accepted his criminal acts before JIT and co-related all his actions with actual criminal happenings on the ground," the report, accessed by Dawn, said of the chief of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee (PAC).

Baloch also killed several police and Rangers personnel and attacked police stations, the report said. In total, he "confessed" to killing 198 people on ethnic and political grounds and owing to gang-war rivalry.

As per the report, Baloch also admitted that in order to take revenge of the killing of his father, he kidnapped his rival gang leader Arshad Pappu and two others with the help of certain police officers and murdered them. In addition to the murders, the JIT said that Baloch was also involved in extortion, land grabbing, China-cutting and narcotics trafficking.

"The accused is found involved in espionage activities by providing secret information/sketches regarding Army installations and officials to foreign agents (Iranian intelligence officers) which is a violation of Official Secrets Act, 1923," the JIT wrote further in its findings.

In September 2013, Baloch fled to Chabahar in Iran after the Sindh Rangers launched a crackdown in Karachi against elements of organised crime. A dual Iranian citizen, he was contacted by Iranian intelligence there to provide information on Pakistan's security apparatus and the political situation in Karachi.

He moved onwards to Oman and was arrested by the Interpol in Dubai in December 2015 while still in hiding. In 2016, he reappeared in Karachi, only to be arrested by the Rangers during a targetted operation. That same year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo moto notice of his involvement in the murder of gangster Arshad Pappu, bringing his activities into attention.

The six-member JIT was formed by the Sindh government in February 2016 to interrogate Baloch, comprising representatives of security and intelligence agencies.

Due to his influential ties, it is alleged that Baloch enjoyed political patronage and was "protected" by the Bilawal Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party from facing charges until 2012.


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First published: 8 July 2020, 10:58 IST