Pakistan News

Lyari attack termed reaction to MPA’s threat to gangsters

Lyari attack termed reaction to MPA’s threat to gangsters

KARACHI: Friday’s attack in the Phool Patti Lane and Shah Waliullah Road areas came in the wake of a statement of PPP MPA Jawed Nagori in which he vowed to “take action against rogue elements within Lyari”, said sources in the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Jawed Nagori’s brother Akbar was killed in a similar attack in Khadda Market about six months ago and with this statement published in a local newspaper a day ago Mr Nagori once against appeared to have stirred up a hornet’s nest, said the sources.

Mr Nagori confirmed to Dawn having given the statement and said: “The attack is definitely in reaction to it and by the same group of gangsters who don’t want to be held accountable for their actions.”

He said the spot near the Shah Waliullah water filtration plant was an informal place for party workers meetings. “I’m usually part of such meetings with other workers and had to miss it yesterday due to some other engagements. I was later informed of the attack,” he said.

“Firing into the air was also reported from Khadda Market, where one of the PPP candidates, Haji Abdul Majeed, was gathering workers for a party meeting. They dispersed eventually.”

Mr Nagori added: “The people behind these groups are sitting abroad. Until they are arrested, the area will continue to see similar attacks in future as well.”

Asked about the whereabouts of Uzair Jan Baloch, he said: “There is no credible news of his presence in Pakistan though some reports say that he is in the custody of security agencies in Peshawar. I don’t know more than that.”

The group of gangsters, according to sources, was the same opposing the ongoing Rangers-led operation that has been carried out in Lyari for the past two years. Only a few days after the operation began in September 2013, disagreement between gangsters over the operation and suspicions over its being ‘one-sided’ led to an attack on a key figure of the now defunct Peoples Amn Committee, Zafar Baloch. He was shot dead near Bizenjo Chowk.

Though the operation further divided the two splinter groups — led by Uzair Baloch and Noor Mohammad, alias Baba Ladla — and led to their escape from Lyari and later the country, they have smaller groups operating in the area and their subordinates keep them present through newspaper headlines that appear in a widely read local newspaper published from Lyari and distributed in Keamari, Gadap, Shershah and Malir.

“They (the splinter group) have the same grudge as before. They accuse their high command of taking refuge abroad, leaving the lower cadre to bear the brunt of the operation,” said the sources.

The latest attack triggered gun battles between the two groups within Lyari. Last year, the fighting had stopped for a while after a consensus was reached but the area residents believe the precarious peace in Lyari maintained by the operation will be short-lived until the handlers of the groups are brought to justice.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2015

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