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I am not a puppet: Arshad Pappu


KARACHI: In his Gadani jail cell, Lyari’s legendary kingpin Arshad Pappu seethes over the killings of Baloch in Karachi, especially since there is a perception that he and his men are partly to blame. Neither he, nor any of his men, are in any way linked to the massacre, he is at pains to stress.

“I’m a leader of the Baloch people of Lyari,” he told The Express Tribune in an interview. “My heart bleeds for the Baloch people.”

The question today for the people of Karachi is, however, who is killing the young men. If Pappu is to be believed, the actual fight is between the “Pakistan Peoples Party-backed Peoples Amn Committee (PAC) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)”. Both parties have, however, rubbished these claims.

The mess

After the death of Rehman Dakait in 2009, the mantle of the gang fell to Uzair Baloch, who is closely linked to Baba Ladla. Both men are central figures of the now defunct PAC, claim insiders.

The other group is the one led by Arshad Pappu from his jail cell. His network is currently being run by Ghaffar Zikri and Razzaq Commando.

Police and intelligence personnel allege that Pappu’s gang is backed by one party that is using his network to gain a foothold in Lyari. But Pappu challenges this. “I may be in jail, but I’m not that weak that I would end up taking shelter with a party,” he said. “I know how to fight on my own.”

“I am not a puppet of any political party,” he said, while referring to the MQM and to distance himself from the killing of Baloch men. According to Pappu, the perception that he is an MQM puppet dates to the Musharraf regime when his associate Ghaffar Zikri had lent support to the party in the general elections, while their rival Rehman Dakait supported the PPP. This claim has also been rejected by the MQM, which says that no such understanding existed.

According to Pappu, the current carnage in the city was nothing but “politics over bodies”. He laughed when told that police were saying that they were moving into Lyari and other areas to nab the target killers. “Mark my words, they’ll do nothing,” he said. “They could do nothing in the past and will do nothing even today.”

His heart fills with sorrow every time he learns the death of a Baloch or even an innocent Mohajir.  “I believe there is a conspiracy by forces from high above that want to see the peace-loving Baloch and Mohajir fight.” He promised that one day when he is set free, “God willing, [he’ll] make sure that there is unity among [them].”

Till then, the cycle of violence will continue to carry on unless something is immediately done to sever political backing for the warring groups. “I appeal to Zardari and the PPP to stop the bloodshed of the innocent Baloch people at all costs,” Pappu said.

For him, there should be no doubt that PAC was spreading terror in the city. “PAC has no fear because they are being backed by the senior leadership of the PPP,” he alleged, and went on to add Zulfiqar Mirza and Manzoor Wassan’s names as the ones who were openly supporting his rival group. This claim was strongly refuted by the leadership of the PPP.

The motive, Pappu said, went to the fact that there is a lot at stake, including mountain loads of money. “What do you think Baba Ladla (Dakait’s gang) does? He’s responsible for collecting extortion money from areas not only in Lyari but beyond them like Shershah, Ghas Mandi, Keamari. He then gives a generous share to party leaders,” he alleged. The PPP has also denied this and said that there is no iota of truth in it.

MQM ‘rubbishes’ claims of support for Pappu

MQM leader Faisal Subzwari has ‘rubbished’claims that the party is in any way associated with any of the gangsters in Lyari or was using any group to gain a foothold in Lyari. According to him, the whole world knows who killed Lyari’s Rehman Dakait. “The same people who killed Rehman have now taken over his network in Lyari and today the same party claims that they were his biggest supporters.”

About claims that the MQM was backing PAC’s rival group led by Pappu and Zikri, he said: “This is pure rubbish. The MQM never had anything to do with them in the past or even today.”

It is the government’s responsibility to take action against all criminals, including Pappu who is in jail and Zikri, who is hiding somewhere in Karachi.

About the elections when Zikri supposedly lent support to the MQM in Lyari, Subzwari said it was totally untrue. “Back then there was no PAC. However, everyone knows how the ballot boxes were stuffed on the directions of Rehman Dakait along with Habib Jan during the elections there.”

When asked whether it was true that the current carnage was a duel between the MQM and PAC backed by the PPP, Subzwari said that the only part that rang true was that PAC had the patronage of a political party that was spreading chaos in the city.

He stressed that innocent Urdu-speaking people were being targeted and until the killing came to an end, they could not think of rejoining the government.

PPP defends Mirza

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon defended his fellow minister, Zulfiqar Mirza, denying that neither he nor any one from the PPP is supporting criminals.

“These are nothing but lies. There is not an iota of truth in it,” he said when asked about the accusations that PAC frontman Baba Ladla has the backing of senior party leaders. People who are saying the PPP backs PAC should remember the party actually disbanded it, added Memon.

“All this talk is to divide the people and incite them to violence,” he said. He warned that the people who are spreading these ‘lies’ should know that if the government wanted it could expose the ‘reality’ and show the world who the ‘real’ culprits are. “We have pictures that can expose who met the members of PAC,” he said.

Whether it is the MQM’s Rabita Committee or PAC, the fact of the matter is that innocent lives are being lost, said Fauzia Wahab, a member of the PPP’s central executive committee member. She stressed, however, that one must not forget how the current wave of violence was triggered. “The bodies of five Baloch men were found. Who was responsible for that?”

Who is Arshad Pappu?

Arshad Pappu reportedly has four sons and three daughters but they and his wife have moved out of Lyari because of threats to their life. He shot to notoriety during Musharraf’s regime and was eventually caught in 2006. According to one of his lawyers, Mohammad Farooq, Pappu was charged with around 50 cases of which 20 were for murder.

To date, Pappu hasn’t been convicted in any. In fact, he may be released soon, claims his lawyer. “Just two cases are pending against him,” says Farooq.

Pappu’s father Hajji Lallu was also released. One of Arshad Pappu’s brothers, Sher Mohammad has also been freed by the courts. His two other brothers Nasir and Yasir Arafat, are, however, with him in jail. Incidentally, the alias Pappu was given to him by his father. “During my childhood I was a very healthy boy which is why my father used to call me Pappu,” says the Lyari gangster. “Since then, everyone close to me calls me that.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236027/i-am-not-a-puppet-arshad-pappu/

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Lyari Violence

 

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Grenade attack injures PPP leader in Lyari

KARACHI: A lobbed grenade by unknown assailants critically injured five people including the former leader of the defunct People’s Amn Committee, Zafar Baloch.

According to details, unknown assailants riding on motorcycles threw grenades, targeting Zafar Baloch. The explosion injured Baloch and four other people.

Baloch had been sitting outside his house in Gul Mohammad Lane, when unknown assailants threw a grenade.

Police has reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

The injured have been shifted to the Lyari General Hospital for treatment.

Heavy firing erupted in parts of Lyari where Baloch had been targeted.

Police officials believed that the same group may be behind the attacks which has been conducting grenade attacks in Lyari over the past few months.

There have been a number of incidents over the past four months in which unknown assailants riding motorcycles had hurled grenades at targets in Lyari. The People’s Amn Committee offices and leaders, inlcuding Uzair Baloch have been targeted by grenade attacks in the past.

 

http://tribune.com.pk/story/228094/grenade-attack-injures-ppp-leader-in-lyari/

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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New wave of targeted killings in Karachi kills 8, including ASI injured

کراچی( اسٹاف رپورٹر) کراچی میں ٹارگٹ کلنگ کی تازہ ترین لہر کے دوران 8افراد ہلاک ہوگئے میٹروول ، گلبہار اور فردوس کالونی میں فائرنگ سے بلاول ہاؤس کے چیف سیکورٹی گارڈ بلال شیخ کے سرکاری گن مین سمیت 3افراد ہلاک ہوگئے جبکہ عظیم پورہ قبرستان، سپرہائی وے ، لیاری ، کھارادر اور بلدیہ ٹاؤن سے ایک خاتون سمیت 5افراد کی لاشیں ملیں، جنہیں فائرنگ اور تشدد کرکے ہلاک کیاگیا نیز فائرنگ کے مختلف واقعات میں ایک اے ایس آئی سمیت متعدد افراد زخمی ہوگئے، پولیس کے مطابق منگل کو تھانہ پیر آباد کی حدود فرنٹیئر موڑ، ربانی محلے میں نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ سے پولیس کانسٹیبل 32سالہ مظفر خان ولد علی اکبر خان ہلاک ہوگیا، متوفی سائٹ ، میٹروول II کا رہائشی اور بلال شیخ کا سرکاری گارڈ تھا، تھانہ رضویہ کی حدود گلبہار ، پھول والی گلی میں نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ سے 18سالہ نوجوان عقیل احمد چوہان ولد احمد حسین چوہان ہلاک ہو گیا، جبکہ کاظمی امام بارگاہ کے قریب فائرنگ سے 26 سالہ وسیم علی ولد جعفر علی اور 27سالہ ریحان ولد عباس زخمی ہو گیا، تھانہ گلبہار کی حدود فردوس کالونی، لال مسجد کے قریب نامعلوم افراد کی فائرنگ سے 30سالہ سلیم ولد نور اللہ ہلاک ہوگیا تھانہ گلشن معمار کی حدود سپر ہائی وے، افغان کیمپ کے قریب جھاڑیوں سے ایک 40سالہ خاتون کی لاش ملی جسے تشدد کے بعد ازاربند سے گلاگھونٹ کر ہلاک کیاگیا متوفیہ گلابی رنگ کی پھولدار قمیض شلوار اور نیلے رنگ کا دوپٹہ پہنے ہوئی تھی۔ اس کی فوری شناخت نہیں ہوئی۔ تھانہ الفلاح کے حدود عظیم پورہ قبرستان کے قریب سے 22 سالہ نوجوان محمد افتخار عباس قریشی ولد محمد عباس علی قریشی کی لاش ملی جسے اغواء کے بعد سر اور کاندھے پر 2 گولیاں مار کر ہلاک کیا گیا متوفی ملیر، کہکشاں سوسائٹی، گلشن فاطمہ کے مکان نمبرC-36کا رہائشی تھا، تھانہ کلاکوٹ کی حدود لیاری، آٹھ چوک، ڈینٹر گلی سے 31سالہ عاصم ولد نصیر الدین کی بوری بند لاش ملی جسے تشدد کرکے ہلاک کیاگیا متوفی آگرہ تاج کا لونی کا رہائشی تھا تھانہ کھارادر کی حدود فاریہ اسٹریٹ کے عقب میں خالق دینا اسٹریٹ سے 24 سالہ یاسین ولد عبدالمجید کی لاش ملی ، جسے فائرنگ کرکے ہلاک کیا گیا۔ متوفی لیاری ، کھڈا مارکیٹ کا رہائشی تھا۔ تھانہ بلدیہ کی حدود بلدیہ ٹاؤن نمبر4مین روڈ کے کنارے سے ایک 22سالہ نوجوان کی لاش ملی، جسے فائرنگ کرکے ہلاک کیاگیا ۔ متوفی کی فوری شناخت نہیں ہوئی دریں اثناء تھانہ بغدادی کی حدود یاری میں فائرنگ سے اے ایس آئی 35سالہ ممتاز ولد غازی خان 25سالہ عمران، 21سالہ مزمل ولد عبدالرضا، ایئر پورٹ ، چھوٹا گیٹ کے قریب فائرنگ سے ایک 40سالہ شخص، گلشن اقبال سرسید یونیورسٹی کے قریب فائرنگ سے 17سالہ بلال ولد خورشید اور بلدیہ ٹاؤن نمبر8 میں فائرنگ سے 25سالہ طارق زخمی ہوگیا۔

http://search.jang.com.pk/details.asp?nid=544651

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Target Killing

 

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Grenade lobbed at ex-PAC chief’s site

KARACHI: A watchman was reported injured in another hand grenade attack in Lyari late Tuesday.

According to SP Javed Baloch, men hurled one at a construction site owned by the defunct Peoples Amn Committee chief Uzair Baloch.

A parked car was damaged.

The former PAC’s Shahidur Rehman said that members of the Arshad Pappu group might be behind the incident that took place near Al-Jamil hotel, Ath Chowk.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Lyari Violence

 

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Lyari on a pile of powder

http://www.jasarat.com/unicode/detail.php?category=15&newsid=61359

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Gang War

 

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Lyari areas famous for delicious food eateries miss charm

KARACHI: Lyari and its surroundings areas, which were famous for delicious food eateries in the past, have now lost their charm due to deteriorating law and order situation.

These areas have attained a negative reputation for gang warfare as during past eight years the mental makeup of area youth has changed tremendously.

Appearance of headless, broken bones, tortured bodies of people have become a routine matter and a trauma citizens bear everyday. Some people alleged that gangs, active in Lyari and its areas, have backing from certain sections of the Pakistan People’s Party.

Facts are murky but one thing is clear that the future of Lyari youth has been compromised as they have been offered role models like Rahman Dacait, Baba Ladla, Jabbar Jingo, Ghaffar Zikri, Rashid Rakha and other notorious commanders of Lyari gangs.

These gangsters get bow downs from security agencies and they routinely throw bodies packed in gunny bags, and roam with heavy weapons without any fear of being caught. Besides, a new criminal trend of spot killing has taken roots in the area, where gangsters take a victim to a public place and then shoot him in an execution style manner.

These sorts of incidents made several areas, including Khadda Market, Niaz Chowk, Shah Waliullah Road, Nayaabad, Daryaabad, Kamil Gali, Kalri, Baghdadi, Chakiwara, Klakot, Eidgah, Risala, Napier and Kharadar areas as most volatile areas of the city.

Sources in the investigation department said on anonymity that often the victims were the inhabitants of the area and were killed on suspicion of being police informants, personal enmity, family matters, etc. They said the groups of Lyari gangsters, which had gone underground since 2008, had resurfaced again to show their dominance in the area and a few recent incidents of grenade attacks took place in this connection.

The officials at investigation department said that the relevant authorities should take comprehensive measures to combat the target killings in these areas.

The sources further informed that the law enforcement agencies, presently appearing ineffective to overcome the prevailing law and order situation in Lyari, had drafted a comprehensive strategy to thwart the possibility of an imminent gang war, which is likely to be taken place at any time. They were of the view that although heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies had been deployed in the area to avert such incidents, the same could not be brought to an end without political will.

Meanwhile, the doctors at the Civil Hospital Karachi said the bodies of people found in gunny bags had often been brutally tortured before murder. They said the culprits, who used to break hands and legs of the victims during torture, now just shoot them to confirm their deaths.

 

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Lyari Violence

 

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Attack on defunct PAC president: FIR lodged against Bilawal House security chief

The police have booked Akram Baloch, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activist and former security chief of Bilawal and Zardari houses, and six other men for an attack on defunct Peoples Amn Committee (PAC) president Uzair Baloch.
Nearly 18 people were injured on Tuesday morning when a dozen men on motorcycles and four wheelers attacked Uzair’s convoy with hand grenades near Ghas Mandi. Uzair’s guards retaliated but the attackers escaped under cover of fire. City Town SP Saqib Sultan said that all the injured people were released from hospital.

SHO Shahid Mehmood said, however, that no evidence from the crime scene indicated that the attackers hurled hand grenades at the convoy. The attack took place due to an internal fight and the police are trying to find out what it is, he said.

Defunct PAC leader Zafar Baloch told The Express Tribune that only three to four passersby were among those injured while the rest of the victims were party workers. He said that the assailants attacked the convoy when Uzair and the workers were returning from Ghanchi Para.

An FIR No. 76/11 under section 324/34 was registered on the complaint of Habibur Rehman, who did not add the section on the Explosives Act. Akram and six of his associates, Abid Bengali, Afzal, Shehzad, Sameer, Bilal and notorious gangster Arshad Pappu’s brother Shera, were nominated.

PPP sources said that Akram is a senior party activist and is currently the president of Karachi’s old city area. He is also close to President Asif Ali Zardari, especially when the latter was released from jail.

According to Zafar, Akram is misusing the name of the PPP. He accused him of masterminding the attack on Uzair. “Akram is among those people who were kicked out of Lyari by its residents because he was involved in killings, extortion, kidnappings, etc,” he said. Zafar said that Akram has now formed his own group that comprises criminals related to Arshad Pappu. He felt that Akram wants to return to Lyari and that is why he is trying to remove PAC.

City Town SP Saqib Sultan said that the police raided Akram’s house in Salar Compound, Bhimpura. “We were unable to make any arrests,” he said.

 

http://tribune.com.pk/story/184300/attack-on-defunct-pac-president-fir-lodged-against-bilawal-house-security-chief/

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Gang War

 

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The Gangs Of Karachi

Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi

“The police are only one of several armed groups and probably not the most numerous or best equipped,” according to a secret assessment of the ‘The Gangs of Karachi’ by then US consul general Stephen Fakan in April 2009.

The assessment focuses on the Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party, Muhajir Qaumi Movement (H), Sunni Tehreek and “Pashtun terrorists”, besides some armed gangs operating in Lyari and other parts of this megapolis. It states that “the PPP’s decision to include MQM in coalition governments in Sindh and at the centre has helped preclude a return to the PPP-MQM violence of the 1990s. But the potential for MQM-ANP conflict is growing as Pashtuns challenge Muhajir political dominance and vie for control of key economic interests, such as the lucrative trucking industry.

“Any sign that political violence is returning to Karachi, especially if it is related to the growing strength of conservative Pashtun ‘Taliban’, will send extremely negative shockwaves through the society and likely accelerate the flight from Pakistan of the business and intellectual elite of the society,” the report says.

Assessing the overall situation that prevailed in the city, the cable adds that the police consider many neighbourhoods to be no-go zones in which even intelligence services have a difficult time operating.

“Very few of the groups are traditional criminal gangs. Most are associated with a political party, a social movement, or terrorist activity, and their presence in the volatile ethnic mix of the world’s fourth largest city creates enormous political and governance challenges.”

About the presence of armed groups in the city, the US assessment mentions many parties. It says that the MQM’s armed members, referred to as “Good Friends”, are the largest non-governmental armed element in the city and that “the police estimate MQM has ten thousand active armed members and as many as twenty-five thousand armed fighters in reserve.”

According to the cable, the local police believes that “MQM-H still maintains its armed groups in the areas of Landhi and Korangi, and that the party will re-organise itself once its leadership is released from jail.  MQM-H had broken from the main MQM and its strongholds in Landhi and Korangi were regarded as no-go zones. It was in 2003 that the MQM, as a precondition to join the government, asked for the elimination of the MQM-H. The local police and Rangers were used to crack down on MQM-H, and its leaders were put behind bars.  The rank and file of MQM-H found refuge in a local religious/political party, Sunni Tehrik,” the assessment reads.

The cable goes on to note that the “ST is a small religious/political group with a presence in small pockets of Karachi. The group has only managed to win a handful of council seats in local elections but militarily it is disproportionately powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen. ST has organised the party and its gunmen along the lines of MQM by dividing its areas of influence into sectors and units, with sector and unit commanders”.

About the PPP, the US diplomat comments that “traditionally the party has not run an armed wing, but the workers of the party do possess weapons, both licensed and unlicensed. With PPP … having an influential … Home Minister, a large number of weapons permits were currently being issued to PPP workers.” He quotes a police official as having said that he believes, given the volume of weapons permits being issued to PPP members, that the party will soon be as well-armed as MQM.

The Awami National Party (ANP), says Mr Fakan, “represents the ethnic Pashtuns in Karachi” and has begun to “organise formal armed groups.” Karachi’s Pashtuns, he continues, “do possess personal weapons, following the tribal traditions of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). … With the onset of combat operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in August 2008, a growing number of Pashtuns fled south to swell the Pashtun ranks of what already is the largest Pashtun city in the world.  This has increased tensions between ANP and MQM.

“If rhetoric of the police and the ANP leadership is to be believed, these armed elements may be preparing to challenge MQM’s control of Karachi,” the cable adds. “In March [2009] the Karachi Police Special Branch submitted a report to the Inspector General of Police in which it mentioned the presence of ‘hard-line’ Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood.”

This report, according to the cable, said the neighborhood was “becoming a no-go area for the police” and claimed “the Pashtuns are involved in drug trafficking and gun running and if police wanted to move in the area they had to do so in civilian clothing.  A senior member of the Intelligence Bureau in Karachi recently opined that the ANP would not move against MQM until the next elections, but the police report ANP gunmen are already fighting MQM gunmen over protection-racket turf.”

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09KARACHI138.html

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Gang War

 

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Zulfiqar Mirza says PAC is PPP’s wing

KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister, Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza Sunday announced that People’s Amn Committee (PAC) is Pakistan People’s Party’s wing and that if ‘all members of PAC are criminals then it makes one too’, Geo News reported.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion of death anniversary of Abdullah Murad here, Mirza said: “I announce that People’s Amn Committee is People’s Party’s wing and if all of its members are criminals, it makes me one too.”

He said, ‘if PAC bleeds, PPP will bleed too’. “The members of PAC are our brothers and children …… they are the soldiers of PPP,” he added.

Zulfiqar Mirza said the ‘illegal cases’ of the previous regimes will be reviewed afresh.

“We are also humans and not divine and we try to show our children the right path when they make mistakes, but don’t slit their throats,” he said in his roaring voice.

He said it is the right of the people to hold the ministers accountable.

The Home Minister said Abdullah Baloch was murdered for raising a voice for a just cause.

“People’s Party is a the organization of ‘Shuhda’ and an ‘Amanat’ of Bilawal Bhutto that will be handed over to him in proper shape,” Zulfiqar Mirza remarked.

 

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12169

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Gang War

 

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