Thursday Apr 14, 2016
KARACHI: Rangers officer grilled former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Karachi chief Abdul Qadir Patel on Thursday, asking him pressing question about his alleged links to criminal gangs operating in Lyari.
Sources told Geo News that the interrogation, which continued for over five hours at the Rangers' Karachi headquarters, took place with banned Lyari People's Aman Committee (PAC) chief Uzair Baloch sitting in the same room.
After failing to give satisfactory questions to the investigating officer, Patel was transferred to an undisclosed location for further investigation. He was later released.
Sources told Geo News that Patel was asked how he knew Baloch and in what capacity. To this, Patel replied that several PPP leaders, including himself, used to seek help from Uzair Baloch and his Lyari-based gang.
He was asked about the murder of Benazir Bhutto’s security chief Khalid Shehanshah who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Patel said he was not aware of the murderer, despite having close ties with Baloch. However, Patel named Zulfiqar Mirza as a possible lead, saying that “Mirza looked after all affairs”.
Rangers personnel kept pressing him for an answer stating that Baloch, who is in the paramilitary custody, had named him [Qadir Patel] and some other PPP leaders as planners of the murder.
An investigation officer asked him as to how he and his family had become so rich and what their source of income was. Unable to come up with an answer, Patel complained of a headache and high blood pressure after which the interrogation stopped for a while, sources claimed.
The investigating officer then asked the PPP leader if and what role he played in Uzair Baloch's escape from Pakistan on an Iranian passport. To this, Patel replied that he had no knowledge of how Uzair fled the country.
He was asked if he posted police officers in Karachi on the wishes of Baloch, and to name police officials who were involved in the Lyari gang war and were in contact with gang war leaders.
Patel denied the charges, again saying that Zulfiqar Mirza, Sindh home minister at that timem, oversaw all matters.
He claimed that the planning of several terrorist activities in Lyari were planned inside a bungalow in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) where Lyari gangsters and PPP leaders sat together.