An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday indicted alleged kingpin of the Lyari gang war Uzair Baloch for the murder of his rival Arshad Pappu.
Pappu, another notorious gangster, was killed along with his brother Arafat and an aide Jumma Shera by Uzair’s gang, known as Peoples Amn Committee, in Lyari and their bodies were desecrated.
The ATC-VII judge, who is conducting the trial inside the central prison, framed charges on Uzair, former Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Shahjahan Baloch and three others. Baloch and other accused denied the charges and opted to contest their case.
Some of the nominated suspects, like ‘Baba Ladla’ Noor Muhammad, have already died in encounters with law enforcement agencies or in shootings by the rival gang. Some other witnesses, including policemen, have also lost their lives in target killings.
Brief facts of the case are that on March 16, 2013, Pappu and the other two were picked up by police from their hideout in Defence Housing Authority and later handed over to the Amn Committee which killed them. Pappu himself was allegedly involved in several cases of murders, kidnappings and drug peddling but was never convicted. A year before his death, he was acquitted from the murder of Faiz Muhammad, alias Mama Faizu, the father of Uzair.
Uzair faces over five dozen cases related to terrorism. After his arrest, the army had taken him into custody in April 2017 on the charges of espionage and leak of sensitive security information to foreign intelligence agencies. He was handed back to the home authorities recently.
During the hearing, he claimed that he never made any confessional statement in court. He asked the ATC to summon the judicial magistrate who presided over the recording of his so-called confessional statement under the Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.