KARACHI: Reacting to the news of notorious gangster Uzair Jan Baloch’s arrest, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday said the paramilitary Rangers chief had taken him into confidence over the arrest.
“We had put a bounty on his head. When DG Rangers briefed me about his involvement in kidnapping for ransom, extortion and killings, I gave him my consent to arrest him,” he said, while speaking to media in Sukkur.
Qaim said the Sindh government had earlier expressed reservation over the Rangers unilateral action against politicians and raids conducted at government offices. “But we are against the gangsters and criminals. I hope his case will be pursued in the spirit of the law,” he said.
Referring to some previous media reports, he said, “It was said that he was arrested in Dubai, but no one confirmed these reports.” However, he added that the PPP-led Sindh government would give their viewpoint if Uzair Baloch spoke against them. “It is premature to comment on his confessional statement, so please don’t create hype,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sindh’ Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro disowned the Lyari gangster and refuted the media reports that he was earlier affiliation with the PPP.
Speaking to media, he said, “I don’t know who is Uzair Baloch. Before I comment on his arrest, I want to know when and where he was detained and who kept him in the custody,” he said. Khuhro said there are lots of issues in Sindh and the media should not focus on ‘non-issues’.
Responding to a question about the cold war between Sindh and federal government, he said the appearance of Uzair Baloch might be the interior minister’s reaction to ‘our statements’.
After the January 20 terror attack on a university in Charsadda, the PPP leaders, including their parliamentary leader in National Assembly, had demanded that the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan be removed from his position.
Meanwhile, Sindh former home minister and estranged PPP leader, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, proudly announced that Uzair Baloch was like his brother. “He was my brother and is my brother,” he said, adding that people should have courage to speak the truth.
“Peoples Amn Committee was only formed by the PPP in my tenure, but it was working before the PPP came to power in 2008,” he said. Mirza, however, appreciated the law enforcement agencies’ action against criminals and terrorists in Karachi. “I hope all terrorists will now be taken to task,” he said.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara said some people sitting in power corridors of Sindh were worried over the arrest of Baloch, who is likely to disclose some secrets. “He can uncover many high-profile cases and killings in Karachi,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2016.