KARACHI: A video shared by Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi has renewed speculation over the connection between notorious gangster Uzair Baloch and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with some fresh claims regarding the alleged nexus between the two coming to light.
Zaidi a day earlier had tweeted that he would soon release an “explosive video” which would “expose former president Asif Ali Zardari and his gang.”
“Crime and politics have gone hand in hand. Mafia Don Asif Zardari and his henchman Qadir Patel exposed yet again by Habib Jan who was once in the middle of it all,” Zaidi tweeted in a video showing Jan talking about Baloch and Zardari.
In the video, Jan claims that soon after the 2012 Lyari operation, the PPP had re-established contact with Baloch and given him Rs50 million in cash. Baloch had allegedly rejoined the party soon after.
“Then you saw Qaim Ali Shah also went there [to Lyari], so did Sharmila Farooqi, so did Faryal [Talpur] sahiba. My office was also attacked and my brother was killed. According to Chaudhry Aslam, [former PPP interior minister] Rehman Malik was at the helm of the operation,” he said.
Jan also alleged that the PPP would transfer police officials on the whims of Baloch. “This is true. IG Sindh’s transfer was also done and the interior ministry used to stand at their [the gangsters’] door in the form of Rehman Malik,” Jan alleged.
He also claimed that Baloch personally met with Zardari. “Zardari met Baloch and it was an important meeting. Baloch called me and said Zardari called him and wanted to meet him and he has to go [to the meeting] with Qadir Patel. Zardari wanted his so-called ‘brother’ [Baloch] to contest elections from Lyari,” Jan said.
“The fight started when Muzaffar Tappi came in the picture. One day Tappi came to Lyari with Faisal Raza Abdi and Chaudhry Aslam accompanied by 50 cars. We received a call from the deputy commissioner saying what have you done? I told him that Karachi’s Balochs were uniting,” Jan said in the video.
When asked when the relations between Baloch and PPP came to an end, Jan said it happened “when the government started to get into trouble.”
A wave of allegations and counter allegations between the PTI and the PPP has followed the Uzair Baloch Joint Investigation Report (JIT), which was released last week after months of wrangling.
In a press conference, Zaidi, while reading from a different ‘version’ of the JIT report than the one that was released by the Sindh government, had said Baloch had confessed that he met former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP leader Faryal Talpur to have the bounty on his head waived off.
He said that at the last page of Baloch’s sworn statement, the Lyari gangster had said he feared for his life, which he believed was under threat from Zardari and other politicians.
Zaidi had also asked Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed to take suo motu notice on the Uzair Baloch JIT report released by the Sindh government, saying the original report had been tampered with.
“We [PTI] have come to change the country and to do that, it is necessary to implement a reward and punishment system,” said Zaidi. “This does not pertain to a petty motorcycle or car theft. He [Uzair Baloch] is admitting to 198 murders,” he had said.
The minister said that the report, “interestingly, does not mention on whose behest Baloch carried out the murders or committed all the crimes”. The PPP has strongly denied charges of tampering with the report and rubbished accusations that its senior leadership was working with the notorious gangs of Lyari.