A classified dossier on a Karachi-based criminal network alleged to have been connected to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, jointly authored by investigators of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and civilian services, contains no evidence that it was financing or providing weapons to Baloch nationalist insurgents, a copy of the document obtained by The Indian Express reveals. Leaders of the Karachi-based ganglord Uzair Baloch, blamed in widely reported briefings by senior Pakistani security officials for collaborating with Jadhav, were “involved in espionage activities, by providing secret information/sketches regarding Army installations and officials to foreign agents”, the dossier says — but primarily for Iran, not India.
Investigators, a source involved in the preparation of the dossier said, became aware of Jadhav during Uzair Baloch’s interrogation after the ganglord’s arrest on January 30, 2016, just weeks before the former Naval officer was held.
The two men, he said, came into contact through Baloch’s cousin, Jaleel Baloch, who manages the ganglord’s properties in Iran’s Chabahar port.
Experts in India said sketches of military installations in India would have been of limited value to agencies like the Research and Analysis Wing, which have long had access to high-resolution satellite imaging of Pakistani naval and army facilities, as well as the strategic Gwadar port. In addition, India’s airborne platforms monitor naval traffic moving through Pakistani waters in real time.
Though accused in the media of engaging in acts of terrorism, the secret military court in Pakistan that sentenced Jadhav to death only tried him under the Official Secrets Act.
The Act allows the imposition of the death sentence for individuals who pass any “information which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy”.
Earlier this week, this newspaper had reported that Jadhav had made contact with India’s R&AW from 2012 onwards, seeking work as a freelance informant. He is also believed to have made contact, during this time, with the Technical Services Division — a new military intelligence outfit which was disbanded in 2014, among allegations of engaging in political surveillance.
According to the dossier, the Karachi ganglord, in addition to a four-storey mansion in Karachi, complete with a private swimming pool, owns a Dirham 1.1 million home and Dirham 500,000 office in Dubai, two plots together worth Dirham 1.5 million in Muscat, 16 acres on Karachi, and over Dirham 1 million in four Dubai bank accounts.
The son of a transporter — Faiz Muhammad, alias Mama Faizu, kidnapped for ransom by gangster Arshad Pappu and accidentally killed — Uzair Baloch is reputed to have become a criminal to avenge his father.
Baloch told police he had held an Iranian passport since 1987, when his photographs were pasted on to the identification papers of his aunt’s deceased son, Abdul Ghani.
Following the arrest of his gangsters Wasiullah Lakho and Ayaz Zehri on a trafficking trip, the JIT report states, Uzair Baloch was forced to call in the services of a local dual-national Iranian-Pakistani fixer, Haji Nasir, to solve the problem with the authorities.
Baloch, the JIT claims, brokered a meeting with Iranian intelligence officials, who guaranteed safety for the gang in return for information on Pakistani military activities. They also offered Baloch a residence in Tehran, it states.
Interestingly, however, Uzair Baloch was known to be hostile to Baloch nationalists — part of a deal, some experts hold, that led to his People’s Aman Committee receiving extensive patronage from the army after 2012.
“I am not a Baloch nationalist”, he told the scholar Laurent Gayer in 2012. “In fact, Gayer wrote, “the PAC seems to have struck a deal with the army, which guarantees impunity to its leaders, as long as they will contain the spread of Baloch nationalism”.