Pakistan People’s Party leader Abdul Qadir Patel has categorically denied claims of close relations between him and Uzair Baloch, saying that he never met the infamous gangster “one-on-one”.
“I only met him in events, meetings or social events,” Patel said, while speaking on Geo News’ programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, the first time he has spoken to any channel after his detention and subsequent release.
Expanding on his relations with the notorious gang lord from Lyari, he said that “everyone knew him”. Baloch enjoyed a certain political and social clout, and was behind the formation of the Karachi City Alliance that even had participation from various political parties in the city, before he earned a reputation for being a criminal, Patel said.
He also denied claims that Baloch had become so powerful in Lyari that he reportedly distributed party tickets for contesting elections in the area.
Replying to Baloch’s claim that Qadir Patel facilitated permits of eight Kalashnikovs for him, the PPP leader said that he should be punished if the allegation is proven.
Patel said that he gave “satisfactory and logical” answers to all questions put forward by Rangers during his detention. He added that he and Uzair were never made to face each other during the course of their custody.
In response to Baloch’s claim that he played an integral role in appointment of Saeed Baloch and Nisar Morai in the Fishermen Cooperative Society, who used to pay Rs2 million extortion on monthly basis to Uzair, the PPP leader said that he had no knowledge about the matter.
Asked about who had the biggest hand behind the rise of Baloch in Lyari, Patel ducked the question saying, “Allah knows best”.