An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday acquitted suspected Lyari gangster Uzair Baloch in three other violence-related cases after prosecution failed to prove charges against him.
According to the prosecution, Baloch and his accomplices had rioted and attacked law enforcement officials who were carrying out a crackdown on criminal gangs in Lyari. Judge ATC-VIII, who was conducting trials in Karachi Central Prison, observed that the prosecutor could not prove the charges against the defendant, so the court had to give him the benefit of doubt.
Baloch, who is chair of the now defunct Community Safe Committee, has faced more than five dozen cases in different courts, and has so far been acquitted in at least eight cases due to lack of evidence.
Most of the cases against him were registered between 2004 and 2013, and involved crimes such as murder, attempted murder, extortion, kidnapping and rioting. He is thought to have fled Pakistan after authorities launched an operation against him.
Rangers had announced his arrest in raids on the outskirts of Karachi in January 2016. Some unverified reports say he was previously arrested from Dubai with Interpol’s help. Later, the joint investigation team that was formed to interrogate him declared him blacklisted.
However, Baloch denied all charges against him. Previously, he had told an ATC judge that he was politically victimized because of his affiliation with the Pakistan People’s Party and was pressured to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.