VICE Guide to Karachi: Battle for Lyari (Part 2/5)


Uploaded by vice on 04.06.2012

Transcript:

[INTRO PLAYING]
[MUSIC PLAYING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: The next morning, we headed back to
Lyari to meet up with the infamous Uzair Baloch, the
most revered and most feared figure in Lyari.
We're stuck in traffic surrounded by squeegee punks
and monkeys.
Squeegee punks are 7-year-old girls.
Uzair Baloch's political group, The People's Aman
Committee, was actually banned by the Pakistani government
under anti-terror laws.
So now, all the posters featuring his face are just
promoting Uzair himself.
We met up with our escorts from the night before who had
promised us a tour of Lyari so we could see for ourselves all
the good the Baloch brothers had done for the neighborhood.
I don't understand why they wouldn't just go into Baloch's
house because they know where he lives.
The police want him so bad.
Why don't they just drive it and get him?
SUROOSH ALVI: He bought them off.
He paid off.
Everybody's so corrupt in this country.
SHABAZ JAN: Yeah.
SUROOSH ALVI: A group of women were protesting the latest
murder charge against Uzair.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]


SUROOSH ALVI: It had been four years?
ZUBAIR ASLAM: Four years.
SUROOSH ALVI: Since he visited Lyari.
While Nabil Gabol, the politician responsible for
Lyari, hadn't visited his constituents in four years,
Uzair Baloch has positioned himself as man of the people,
building sporting facilities, and giving residents of the
slum access to some pretty basic services, like water.
BASIM USMANI: There's was no clean water until the
committees came here and they put pipes in the underground.
And people come from all over just to go to that pipe and
fill up buckets full of water.
SUROOSH ALVI: But we'd also heard stories of the Baloch
brothers and their Peoples Aman Committee extorting local
business owners.
But nobody wanted to talk about that.
When they were willing to speak on camera, they only had
praise for Uzair and Zafar.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

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[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
BASIM USMANI: Capture our people.
SUROOSH ALVI: Oh, another operation is starting?
Even though the police looked like they were gearing up for
an assault, we crossed our fingers and hoped that they'd
at least wait until our interview with Uzair was over.
We've been informed that the big
operation's happening tonight.
That there's going to be police, the rangers, the army
coming in to try and get all the criminals and kill them.
That should be happening in about three or four hours.
And basically, they're after this guy.

In the middle of the slums of Lyari was the Baloch's pimped
out compound.
With the police gearing up to take Uzair out, it felt like
we were in the Pakistani version of Scarface, but with
an empty swimming pool.
After our tour of the hood, it was easy to forget that this
was the guy that the police alleges is responsible for
Lyari's drug and gambling dens, a kidnapping extortion
record, and a slew of killings.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

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SUROOSH ALVI: Our interview was interrupted when a news
channel called Baloch and put him on the air to make a
statement about the police operation gearing up just down
the street.
While Uzair stomped around the compound defending himself and
talking shit about everyone else, we watched the interview
on live TV with his brother Zafar.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: With the police operation apparently imminent,
we said goodbye to the Baloch brothers and drove straight
over to hang out with the people who were trying to
capture and/or kill them.
Camera crews were everywhere.
And who was there but Lyari's most reviled
politician, Nabil Gabol.

Seems like something's about to happen, right?
BASIM USMANI: Yeah.
SUROOSH ALVI: It's got that vibe.
BASIM USMANI: It's got that vibe.
There's some electricity in the air right now definitely.
SUROOSH ALVI: We heard about you.
NABIL GABOL: Yeah.
And the reason is that I'm here because of the law and
order solution here.
And people think that he has become a noble [INAUDIBLE]
which is not true.
There are some criminal elements which have created
again [INAUDIBLE]
solution here in Lyari.
So the government has decided to wipe them out.

SUROOSH ALVI: If Nabil Gabol was going to try and prove
that Lyari was safe by making his first visit to his
constituency in four years, we had to have a front row seat.
So we talked him into letting us ride along with him.
NABIL GABOL: Your door is open.
Because this car is bulletproof.
SUROOSH ALVI: Good.
I'm happy we're in a bulletproof car.

Accompanied by carloads of armed guards and every news
crew in town, we headed to Lyari.
NABIL GABOL: You might hear some fire shots now.
This is so troubled area.
I have to get him out on personal quest
because it's mean.
Anything can happen, you know.
So I don't trust Uzair.
I trust myself and my pledge of God.
This was once a very dangerous area.
And now we have decided to get these cameras,
whatever the cost is.
I mean, I'm here on my life.
Anytime you can hear the rocket launcher [INAUDIBLE]
SUROOSH ALVI: That's good to know.
NABIL GABOL: So this is a situation here in Lyari.
[NABIL GABOL TAKES PHONE CALL]
SUROOSH ALVI: And it's a mafia style crime
syndicate here, right?
NABIL GABOL: It is big mafia like once
there was in Chicago.
SUROOSH ALVI: Sure.
I mean, who are the top guys?
NABIL GABOL: The top was, their name was Uzair.
He's a multi billionaire guy.
Money coming from drugs actually.
They have their gambling debt here.
They have their drug dens here.
He has about a dozen murder case, kidnapping, extortion.
SUROOSH ALVI: Against him right now?
NABIL GABOL: Against him right now.
SUROOSH ALVI: Wow.
NABIL GABOL: A dozen cases.
This came out, about 12 people from this area.
They have tortured [INAUDIBLE]
And they cut their nose.
They cut their hands.
And even they cut their throat out so.
[SIRENS SOUNDING]
NABIL GABOL: Now see all their shops are open here.
SUROOSH ALVI: Rocket launchers, drug dens, cutting
people's noses off, no problem.
As we drove through Lyari, the streets were deserted.
But as the car came to a stop, hundreds of Nabil Gabol
supporters suddenly appeared.
[MUSIC PLAYING, SIRENS AND CHEERING]

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

NABIL GABOL: Gabol looked pretty nervous being outside
of his bulletproof car.
Not surprisingly considering all the enemies he has in this
neighborhood and the tendency of other members of his
political party, the PPP, to get assassinated, like former
Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto.
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SUROOSH ALVI: After a few words with the local TV
stations and a few sips of his milkshake, we were battling
our way back to the safety of Gabol's car.
[MUSIC PLAYING AND CROWD CHEERS]

NABIL GABOL: So now you see?
That [INAUDIBLE] people for me.
SUROOSH ALVI: Yeah.
NABIL GABOL: So they're not against me.
This is what impression, some elements want to give.

SUROOSH ALVI: Back at police headquarters, Gabol gave
himself a pat on the back for his five minute visit to his
constituency.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: He failed to make any mention of the fact
that for all the hype of the big police operation to wipe
out the Baloch brothers, Uzair and Zafar remained
the bosses of Lyari.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: Jahavis, that's what they're hunting for.
The new gang in town.
MALE SPEAKER: Surrender.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

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[MUSIC PLAYING]