ISLAMABAD: Shipping and Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi on Tuesday accused the government of Sindh of tampering with the joint investigation team’s (JIT) report on Lyari gang war leader Uzair Baloch, appealing to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, to take a suo motu notice over the matter.
In a press conference on the recently-released JIT report, the PTI’s federal ministers, Shibli Faraz and Zaidi, said: “It was our party’s efforts, Ali Zaidi went to court as well. The JIT reports were not being made public.”
Zaidi accused some parties who were in power in Sindh of establishing their “personal state” rather than establishing the rule of law. “We [PTI] have come to change the country and to do that, it is necessary to implement a reward and punishment system,” he said.
“This does not pertain to a petty motorcycle or car theft. He [Uzair Baloch] is admitting to 198 murders,” he added.
The minister said the report, interestingly, did not mention on whose behest Baloch had carried out the murders or committed all the crimes.
Reading from the JIT report, Zaidi said Uzair had confessed that he met former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP leader Faryal Talpur to have the head money on him waived off.
He said 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.
The minister emphasised that the Sindh government had released the Baldia factory fire JIT report on Monday “with great difficulty”, saying that the report said the “gory act of Baldia factory is a glaring example of police inefficiency”.
“When Sindh Police SP Rizwan released the report, he was transferred to Shikarpur,” Zaidi disclosed. “Farhan Ghani removed an honest police officer.”
He said the Sindh government had been reluctant to release the JIT report and said its release would prove to be harmful for the nation’s security.
“Those who were making [critical] speeches in the assembly were patrons of gangsters in the JIT report,” he said, taking a shot indirectly at the PPP leadership.
JIT report with ‘missing’ information
“Today, I am presenting the report in front of you that contains signatures on every page,” said Zaidi. “Special Branch, CID, ISI, MI, IB and Pakistan Rangers’ [officials] signatures are present in this report,” he added.
The minister said the original report was 43 pages long while the one released by the Sindh government was based on 35 pages. He said the original report, which contained the signatures of the four representatives of the JIT, contained the names of Dr Zulfikar Mirza, Faryal Talpur, Abdul Qadir Patel, Nisar Morai, Yousuf Baloch, and Sharjeel Inam Memon.
“The ‘friends’ named in the report that they [Sindh government] released, does not contain these six names,” he said. The minister further said the original JIT mentioned that PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel had tasked Baloch to murder a man who had killed his [Patel’s] coordinator.
“This was all taken out from the report they [Sindh government] released,” he said. “It didn’t mention why he killed that man. The original report mentions why Baloch killed him and at whose behest,” he added.
Zaidi said the report released by the Sindh government did not contain statements about political affiliations, extortion and other malpractices. “The original report is filled with them,” he added.
He said this report contained signatures of everyone except for the Sindh government. “The Sindh government has issued another JIT report,” he said, adding that the document released by the provincial government contained signatures on only four pages.
“There are signatures of Uzair Baloch on every page of the JIT report that I have with me,” he said. Zaidi said he was not afraid of the PPP taking legal action against him and said Prime Minister Imran Khan was standing by him.
“Whatever the consequences, I am ready to face them,” he said, adding that he had informed PM Imran in a meeting that he was about to take this step and the premier had assured him that he would stand by the minister.
Zaidi appealed to the chief justice to take suo motu notice of the incident under section 184/3. “I appeal to the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice on this matter,” he said. “Whoever signed this report should be called to court and asked whether he signed it or not,” he added.
He urged the chief justice to take notice of the incident as he was himself from Karachi and had seen how the city had been “systematically destroyed” over the years.