Pakistan intel accuses mafia don of spying for Tehran

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistani intelligence officials have recommended that the government try a notorious gang leader in military court on charges of spying for Iranian intelligence, according to official documents.

Uzair Baloch, head of the outlawed People’s Peace Committee — a social platform he formed in 2009 to cover up his criminal activities — was reportedly arrested in Dubai and brought back to Pakistan through Interpol in December 2014. His arrest was officially made public only this January.

Baloch ruled the town of Lyari — notorious for drug trafficking and gang wars — of the southern port city of Karachi, the country’s commercial capital, from 2009 to 2013, until security forces launched a large-scale operation against crime and drug cartels in the metropolis.

According to the report of a joint investigation team made up of police and intelligence officials, Baloch allegedly confessed to providing details of sensitive military installations to Iranian intelligence officers whom he met during his stay in Iran in 2013-14, local English daily Dawn reported Monday.

Pakistan also claims that Indian intelligence agencies are actively supporting separatist movements in the restive southwestern Balochistan province and northwestern tribal belt.

Baloch, who is wanted for over 100 cases of murder, drug trafficking, attempted murder, arson, and other crimes, had a bounty of 10 million Pakistani rupees ($100,000) placed on him by the Pakistani government.

For the last decade his cartel had been locked in intense gun battles with a rival gang to take control of the drug and illegal weapons business in Lyari. Hundreds of people from both sides have been killed, and hundreds more injured in clashes.

Baloch took control of the gang after the former leader, his uncle Rehman Baloch, was killed in 2009. Local media claimed at the time that Rehman had been taken into custody by police, who then killed him and staged a fake clash to hide it.