The story of an elusive mind, one of the most ruthless terrorists of Lyari, Uzair Baloch, and his 198 confessions are just a reflection of our ‘state of the affairs’ and a close nexus between crime, politics and police.
The man, whose famous ‘Dera’ once used to be the meeting place for the police and politician, where his favourite officers used to get transfer and posting orders, may now face the military court, as the authorities are facing difficulties in getting a public prosecutor.
Can these revelations lead to any political upheaval is difficult to say at this stage but one case which can be of some importance is that of Khalid Shahnshah, Benazir Bhutto’s security in-charge, who was killed weeks after her murder.
Uzair’s story somewhat resembles to that of Sri Lankan rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the chief of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as both joined the criminal syndicate because of their fathers’ murders. His confessions of terrorism once come up in the trial and his disclosures about his political links would certainly create problems both in the political as well as police circles. He has given names and a list of people who were his partners-in-crime.
His 198 confessions including the most horrifying details of how he and his accomplices allegedly killed rivals, the worst among them was that of Arshad Pappu, who he thought was responsible for his father’s murder. Other killings relate to the period in which Dr Zulfiqar Mirza was the Sindh home minister. Mirza too had recorded his statement and also admitted to issuing arms licences to Uzair and his men, but denied it exceeded the 100,000 number.
But during his investigation and testimony, the officers were of the opinion that no evidence so far has been found about his anti-state activities like his links with RAW or any Baloch separatist groups, which even surprised investigators.
Interestingly, Uzair while giving details about his early days, when he was not involved in any criminal activities, told investigators that his mother always wanted him to get good education and stay away from bad boys in the street. “She wanted me to stay at home as she knew the bad boys could harm me or I will be spoiled in the bad company,” he said, adding that his father’s murder changed his life, though he rued many of the crimes he committed.
Today, Uzair is a household name in the world of terror, but about 10 years back, there was hardly any FIR against him. With official and political backing, he became a de facto ‘kingmaker’ and the last PPP government first ‘used’ him and then put head money on him as the most wanted criminal.
His revelations as to how police and political people used to visit his ‘Dera’ could be an eye-opener. He has ample proof about his relations with some PPP leaders and ministers, and that on his invitation the party leadership including Sindh chief minister came to his reception. He still has his people in the Sindh Assembly and practically made the strong PPP a hostage.
In such circumstances, his arrest should have made the PPP heave a sigh of relief, but that is not the case, as his arrest has been made public after 10 months after he was brought back from Dubai, when the relationship between the PPP and the establishment strained.
His actual revelation may never be known but the manner in which politics would unfold in the coming months in Sindh may bring an end to the politics of some PPP leaders, even if they did not face the trial.
Uzair was a nonentity till 2002. Then he became the most wanted criminal, as he created a nexus between crime, politics and police. Lyari, which showed strong resistance against military dictators, fell victim to Lyari gang war, which also brought an end to political culture. Will his arrest and trial lead to rival of political culture in the area, depends on his trial.
His dramatic arrest some 10 months back had created sensation and opened a Pandora’s box, with his 198 alleged confessions. He had named people who backed him and police officials, who protected him.
Now will the criminal syndicate be ever unearthed or established, appeared to a remote possibility in the given circumstance as it can threatened the system in the province, if not in the Centre.
Khalid Shahnshah case can be a turning point, but Uzair had denied his role either in twin suicide attacks on Benazir’s procession in Karachi near Karsaz on October 18 or in her assassination on December 27.
On the contrary, he told the investigators that he was not only present at Karsaz but also offered BB to accompany her in her vehicle after the first blast. “It’s better if I remain inside the container till situation gets clear,” he told BB, according to his statement.
Some of Uzair’s men from Lyari were part of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s ‘Jan-Nisaran-e-Benazir’ force. The force was later on mysteriously replaced during her tour of Punjab. Sindh’s ‘apex committee’ has a challenge i.e. how to prosecute his cases as no public prosecutor is ready to appear in the court out of fear. Also, some of these cases could cause embarrassment to the PPP government.
Therefore, his fate might be decided by a military court, as he has also made confessions of killing and attacking the law-enforcement agencies personnel, which could fall in the category of cases being tried by the military courts.