The Pakistan army has taken into custody a leading Karachi gangster who is being accused of leaking sensitive information to a foreign intelligence agency.
Media reports in Pakistan linked the arrest of Baloch to the death sentence awarded by a secret Pakistani court to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav over alleged spying.
The army took custody of the Lyari gang war leader this week. Earlier, Baloch was arrested by the paramilitary Rangers from the outskirts of Karachi last year.
Uzair Baloch was taken into military custody under the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Official Secret Act, 1923, said Maj Genl Asif Ghafoor, director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations, in a late night tweet on Tuesday.
He said that the high-profile criminal was taken into custody on charges of espionage (leakage of sensitive security information to foreign intelligence agencies).
The Lyari gang war leader, who has close ties to Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party, had confessed his involvement in killings of rival group members, including workers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement as well as police officials.
Baloch had claimed in the past that several police officers were working for him and a number of PPP leaders were supporting him.
Baloch, a former chief of the now-defunct Peoples Aman Committee who was declared a most-wanted criminal by the provincial government, had been in the custody of the Abu Dhabi police for nearly three months before his arrest.
He was detained in the United Arab Emirates based on an Interpol red warrant on December 29 2015 at the Dubai-Oman border.
Pakistani newspaper The News reported that Baloch was “said to be in contact with Kulbhushan Jadhav”.
The law enforcement agencies may have nabbed Jadhav on Baloch’s identification, the paper quoted defence expert Shahzad Chaudhry as saying.