Pakistan links don Uzair Baloch to Kulbhushan Jadhav 'espionage' case: All you need to know

Pakistan Army on Thursday took custody of a Karachi-based underworld don Uzair Jan Baloch for allegedly helping Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav to spy against Pakistan.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court earlier this week for "espionage and sabotage activities", a decision which also got the stamp of approval from Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to reports, Uzair was earlier arrested by personnel of Pakistan Rangers outside Karachi in January 2016 in a "raid." Uzair's arrest was a controversial one, this Dawn report said, because more than a year after Uzair's arrest in Dubai by Interpol, he mysteriously surfaced in Karachi, only to be caught by Rangers in their so-called targeted action.

Jadhav, who was arrested from Balochistan, reportedly entered the region from Iran in March 2016. Pakistan has accused Jadhav of being a "RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) agent" and said that he was planning "subversive activities" in Pakistan.

Pakistan links don Uzair Baloch to Kulbhushan Jadhav espionage case: All you need to know

Pakistan national and underworld don Uzair Baloch. Image courtesy: News18/TV grab

In interrogation during the period following his arrest, Baloch is said to have confessed to having contacts with spies of foreign intelligence agencies, Pakistan media reports said. Uzair told officials that a man identified as Haji Nasir, an alleged member of the Iranian intelligence agency, had introduced Uzair to other members of the agency. He confessed that he shared information regarding Armed Forces with the foreign intelligence, adding he shared information on Corps Commander, Station Commander and Naval Commander in the city.

In a tweet on Tuesday (13 April) night, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Uzair was taken into military custody under the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Official Secret Act, 1923. He added that the high-profile criminal was taken into custody on charges of espionage (leakage of sensitive security information to foreign intelligence agencies).

Uzair, son of a transporter, earned notoriety in Lyari — a Karachi neighbourhood known for gang wars among various ethnic communities of Baloch, Pashtuns and Mohajirs — after the killing of Rehman Baloch in an alleged encounter with police in 2009, News18 reported. Dawn also reported that 37-year-old Uzair was being considered as the political face for the Pakistan Peoples Party in Lyari. According to the report, the PPP, which keeps its association with the Peoples Aman Committee non-committal, protected Uzair until 2012.

Wanted in more than 20 cases, including murder, extortion and terrorism, what brought his activities into light was the suo motu notice by the Supreme Court of Pakistan over his involvement in the Arshad Pappu murder last year, The Express Tribune reported.

Uzair's entry and rise in the world of criminals is nothing short of a Bollywood masala film — a scorned young man powered by the thirst to take his father's murderer to task."His father, Faiz Muhammad alias Mama Faizu, a well-known transporter, was kidnapped for ransom by Arshad Pappu, the son of Lyari gang leader Haji Lalu. Following a brief scuffle, Pappu shot Faizu, who eventually bled to death. After the incident, Uzair joined the gang of infamous cousin, Rehman Dakait," GeoTV reported.

Listing out various expensive properties owned by Uzair, GeoTV report added that the gangster has a house worth 1.1 million dirhams in Dubai, registered in his brother-in-law's name, along with an office in Dubai International City worth 0.5 million dirhams.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2017 16:24:29 IST

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