KARACHI: Uzair Jan Baloch aka Sardar Uzair, the chief of the defunct Peoples Amn Committee (PAC) and shadowy figure in the bloody Lyari gang war, has been arrested in the emirate of Dubai, officials confirmed on Monday.
The main culprit involved in the brutal killing of notorious gangster, Arshad Pappu, had been at large since July 2013 before he was arrested by Interpol in Dubai.
Officials did not confirm when Uzair Baloch would be brought to Karachi but said that the Dubai authorities would hand him over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) first and then he would be handed over to the Sindh police.
A top official informed The Express Tribune that the Sindh government shared details of the cases against Uzair Baloch with the interior ministry some five months ago as the arrest of the PAC leader could be carried out by the Interpol.
“Yes, Uzair Baloch has been arrested in Dubai,” confirmed Sindh Home Secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi. He said that Uzair Baloch was wanted in a number of cases but didn’t say which was the major case against him.
One of the close friends of Uzair Baloch stated that he was involved in several cases, including the Shershah attack and Lyari operation.
Before the Sindh High Court (SHC) took sou motu notice on July 25, 2013 on the police failure to arrest him, it was believed that the law-enforcement agencies were not arresting him because of his political affiliation with the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Interestingly, the SHC took notice on newspaper clippings as Uzair Baloch arranged an Iftar party for nearly 500 journalists of the city while the Anti-Terrorism Court was informed that the law-enforcement agencies were unable to trace his hideouts.
Alleged Lyari gangster, Pappu, his brother Yasir Arafat and their aide Juma Sher were first abducted and then their mutilated and beheaded bodies were found in Lyari.
The officials have not disclosed how Uzair Baloch was detained from Dubai but rumours surfaced that he was crossing the border on a fake passport. A close associate informed The Express Tribune that Uzair Baloch was in Iran about two weeks ago.
His supporters in Lyari and other parts of Karachi didn’t react to the arrest. Fear prevailed in Lyari for a few hours after the news was aired on television channels but no supporter came out to halt the routine life.
Most of the notorious gangsters and leaders of the PAC, including Rehman Dakait, Arshad Pappu and Zaffar Baloch, have been killed. After Uzair Baloch’s arrest, only two main characters are left – Noor Mohammad aka Baba Ladla and Ghaffar Zikri – both have been on the run for the last few months.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2014.