Uzair Baloch is caught, what next?


WEB DESK: Cometh the hour cometh the man, and this man is Uzair Jan Baloch who has arrived with a Pandora’s box under his left arm. What he has already revealed to some that is not in public, but what he may tell to a joint investigation team (JIT), ordered by the court, or more JITs likely to be warranted by the nature of his revelations, may violently rock the boat boarded by quite a few VVIPs. If his past is an open book his future may not be, so is his today shrouded as it is in mystery.

Why he is here now, and not before, when and where he was taken into custody and is there someone except daredevil Dr Zulfikar Mirza to call him a friend and brother – to these questions there are no answers, yet. The PPP leadership has denied any link with Uzair Baloch. The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, says, ‘everyone you meet on the road is not your buddy’. Khursheed Shah says many an unknown can appear to be with you in a photo. But that’s not the public perception, nor plausible enough to sit well with hundreds of thousands who saw firsthand the all-powerful don of Lyari being pampered by the PPP bigwigs as the saviour who could stand up to the rising storm, called the MQM, in the megacity of Karachi.

But that was in the past. Uzair Baloch is now wanted in Pakistan for every crime you can name, ranging from cold-blooded murder to extortion, money-laundering to terror-financing. And as he will go on trial he is likely to open the proverbial ‘Pandora’s box’ to tell the whole truth as to what turned him into a gangster, and under whose protection he operated his underworld with impunity. If there is to be a climax to the ongoing Rangers’ anti-terrorism drive in Karachi it would be the trial of Uzair Baloch with all that he would reveal before the court of law – though doubts are being expressed by some circles that he may not be tried in an open court.

That Uzair Baloch has committed heinous crimes is a fact as there are no two opinions about his involvement. But what comes as a big surprise and remains intriguing is the timing of his appearance on the national scene. That he just walked into Karachi and was caught is too simplistic an argument to gel with someone’s commonsense. Appropriately then, many think that most unexpected entry appearance of Uzair Baloch on the stage is the riposte Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali has made to his detractors, particularly Khursheed Shah and Aitzaz Ahsan, who of late were on the front foot accusing him of being unequal to the task he is supposed to perform under the National Action Plan.

Then there was also a discussion in some circles that his appearance is part of some kind of ‘setting’ for rebooting the Rangers’ operation in Karachi that was perceived to be losing steam. The Rangers chief has rubbished this impression, insisting tempo of his drive fluctuates in resonance to the nature and size of the intended target. And no less importantly, what was being dished out to a section of the media in the capital is that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not in favour of pushing the PPP to the wall by treating the alleged corruption of its ministers and members as terror-financing.

But he is seemingly helpless, because the general public thinks differently and Rangers wouldn’t let go scot-free a corrupt person if he is also a terror-financer. Undoubtedly, the erstwhile Lyari gang king is likely to malign many a top leader of PPP. But beyond that, not much should be expected, mainly because he has no witnesses, and if there are, then the question is why they were quiet all these days. As for himself, as crown witness he lacks credibility and his own record won’t permit him. However, the arrest of country’s most notorious gang leader, who reputedly enjoyed political patronage and was darling of many rose-faced admirers, tends to seriously damage the image of PPP’s top leadership, and as it happens it may tilt the balance of public opinion in favour of Rangers operation and its continuance till what is its logical end.

Source: Business Recorder