HEROIN-DRUG BARON MIRZA IQBAL BAIG DESTROYS LAHORE’S HISTORICAL LAKSHMI MANSION FOR BUILDING SHOPPING PLAZA

 

US CONVICTED PAKISTANI HEROIN SMUGGLER MIRZA IQBAL BAIG BUYS PROPERTY ON HALL & MALL ROADS

IN LAHORE FOR SHOPPING PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

PML(N) IS REWARDING HIM WITH A PERMIT FOR

SHOPPING PLAZA CONSTRUCTION

ON THE CORNER OF HALL/MALL/BEADON ROAD, LAHORE

THUS DESTROYING LAHORE’S HISTORICAL LAKSHMI MANSION

SHAHBAZ SHARIF & NAWAZ SHARIF ARE SUPPORTING MIRZA

IQBAL BAIG AS PART OF LAHORE  IMPROVEMENT SCHEME 

HOW MIRZA IQBAL BAIG INTRODUCED HEROIN INTO PAKISTAN

 

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Pakistani Drug Lord Iqbal Baig has set-up shop in Lahore, specifically in the vicinity of Hall and Mall Road, in an area formerly called Lakshmi Mansion. He acquired these properties to build a Shopping Mall under blessing of Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, and Asif Zardari. Iqbal Baig is money laundering, by converting drug money into legitimate cash by buying properties in Lahore. He bought almost whole of Lakshmi Mansion and Hall Road properties. He is a known accomplice of Taliban and is clear and present danger to the global community including the US and Europe. He is the financier of Taliban and funnels money to every terrorist organization through money laundering in legitimate business enterprises. During the PPP government, he stayed under the radar and kept building assets to finance his patrons the Taliban. Pakistan’s ISI and US CIA should look into the activities of this dangerous criminal on par with Pablo Escobar. In 1995, Iqbal Baig, Pakistan’s most notorious drug lords was extradited to the United States, where he was charged with 100 counts of heroin and hashish smuggling. Iqbal Baig and Anwar Khattak were put on a U.S. government plane in 1995 night only hours after his appeals against extradition was turned down by the High Court in Rawalpindi.Baig and Khattak together ran one of Pakistan’s biggest heroin- and hashish-trafficking networks, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. Both were imprisoned in Pakistan, where they had been convicted of drug smuggling.Baig and Khattak will face 102 counts of smuggling heroin and hashish into the United States. The trials are likely to take place either in Michigan or New York City, where the offenses allegedly occurred, a U.S. official said. Pakistan has been cooperating with the United States since 1993, when the Americans gave Pakistan a list of 17 suspected drug barons it wanted extradited. Seven were extradited in 1993; most others are in custody in Pakistan. 

 
 
 

HEROIN SCOURGES MILLION PAKISTANIS

By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: April 05, 1995
 

In lucid moments, Mohammed Ilyas has happy memories of life as a fisherman on one of Karachi’s deep-sea shark boats. But that was 10 years ago, before Mr. Ilyas began smoking the low-grade heroin he knows as “brown sugar,” and before home became a threadbare blanket tacked to a grimy Karachi wall as a windbreak.

Now, Mr. Ilyas’s addiction brings him to the same lonely spot each night, with a sliver of silver paper to hold the heroin bought with a day’s panhandling in the docks, and a lighted taper to heat the powder into the vapors he inhales. On either side, fellow addicts crouch in their own pitiful isolation, ignored by the police and passers-by.

“What can I do, sir?” Mr. Ilyas asked on a recent evening, between pulls on the tube of rolled paper he uses as a pipe. “I would like to do something. I would like to be back with my family. But the brown sugar tastes too good.”

For Mr. Ilyas, who is 25, and 1.5 million other heroin addicts in Pakistan, there is little to prevent a slide that often leads to a lonely death. In a country of 120 million people, most of them poor and illiterate, heroin addicts are left mostly to fend for themselves. There is little in the way of help, and not much ceremony in the morning sweeps by private charities that carry wasted addicts’ bodies to the morgue.

The tragedy for Pakistan set in much deeper 15 years ago, when Afghan warlords, thrown into turmoil by the Soviet military intervention in their country, stepped up the growing of opium poppies as other forms of commerce collapsed. The product, as opium gum, traveled down old trade routes into the deserts and mountains along Afghanistan’s border, where Pakistani frontiersmen, who grow tons of opium themselves, took the gum and ran it through refineries, producing the cheap “brown sugar” smoked by Mr. Ilyas, as well as heroin in its purer, more lucrative forms.

Over the years, as ever larger quantities of the narcotic began flowing into Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and other cities, the drug ate its way into the fiber of Pakistan. Political life was corrupted, to the point that one of the country’s most notorious drug barons, Ayub Afridi, sat as an elected member of Parliament from 1988 to 1990, dropping out only when an ordinance was passed barring any known drug trafficker from running in an election.

Drug barons have continued to exercise a pervasive political influence, discouraging decisive government action against them.

What’s more, the backwash from the Afghan conflict has brought a flow of weapons into Pakistan, creating a nexus between the drug barons and new generation of heavily armed gangs. In Karachi mainly, but also in other cities, these gangs have established a terror that is overwhelming the local authorities.

Along with Afghanistan, and to a much smaller extent India, Pakistan has become one of the world’s leading producers of heroin — and by some estimates, a larger producer now than the Golden Triangle countries of Southeast Asia.

With growing anxiety, Western nations, including the United States, have been looking at Pakistan in the way they have long looked at countries like Colombia and Thailand — as a place where narcotics trafficking, left to run rampant, has become a danger not only to the country itself but also to much of the world.

Pakistani leaders have made no secret of their belief that drug money was in some way linked to the March 8 attack that killed two Americans working at the United States Consulate in Karachi, and to the terrorist underground that supported Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, a 27-year-old fugitive and suspected mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993. Mr. Yousef was arrested in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, in February.

These links are likely to be discussed when Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, arrives in the United States on April 5. For five years, the main stumbling block to improved ties has been Pakistan’s persistence with a covert program to develop nuclear weapons. But on this visit, Pakistan’s Prime Minister may find American leaders at least as concerned about Pakistan’s role as a center for drugs and terrorism.

When she recently met with American reporters in Islamabad, Ms. Bhutto offered a stark picture of Pakistan as a society where torrents of drugs and weapons have combined to undermine the basis for a civil society.

“We are a clean Government,” she said. “For the first time in our history, we are going to take action against drug barons, militants and terrorists.”

Western embassies that have pressed for years for a narcotics crackdown were encouraged three months ago when the Government froze $70 million in assets belonging to seven leading Pakistani drug lords, and took steps, for the first time in Pakistan, to curb money laundering by drug bosses. The Government also announced the biggest raid on a narcotics laboratory in North-West Frontier Province, site of many of the heroin refineries, seizing 132 tons of hashish and nearly half a ton of heroin.

Ms. Bhutto also promised to speed up action by Pakistani courts on United States requests for the extradition of six drug lords held in Pakistan, and for the arrest and extradition of two others, including Mr. Afridi, the former legislator.

Maj. Gen. Salahuddin Termizi, the country’s anti-drug chief, has won the confidence of Western narcotics experts. But few with experience in combatting the drug world in Pakistan are ready to congratulate Ms. Bhutto just yet.

[ In a crackdown on the eve of the Bhutto trip, two suspected drug barons, Mirza Iqbal Baig and Anwar Khattak, were flown to the United States on April 3. The extraditions were cited by General Termizi as further proof of Pakistan’s commitment to rolling back booming drug production and trafficking. General Termizi said on April 4 that Pakistan had smashed the bulk of its heroin factories and arrested all but 2 of 12 leading drug barons. ]

Top army officers have been accused in the past of conniving with the drug lords, to the extent of running heroin shipments to Karachi aboard army-owned trucks.

And even if Pakistan were to live up to all of Ms. Bhutto’s promises, it would not tackle what has always been the core of the heroin problem: Afghanistan’s role as a secure hinterland for the traffickers. Years of efforts and millions of dollars have been spent by Western governments in an effort to persuade Afghan warlords to stop growing poppies and plant other crops, but poppy acreage has increased every year.

United States officials who have seen the blaze of white, red and pink poppies that cover much of Afghanistan each spring argue that little will be achieved until Washington shifts its spending priorities. The officials say spending $80 million of the State Department’s anti-narcotics budget on efforts to combat cocaine production in South America, and barely a tenth as much on all of Asia and Africa, means that efforts against heroin have to take a back seat.

Currently, the closest thing to a United States Government anti-narcotics program in Afghanistan is a $100,000 grant to Mercy Corps, an American volunteer agency that is trying to persuade communities in a small part of Helmand Province to substitute other cash crops for poppy-growing. Narcotics experts say that their work is hampered because Washington has no embassy in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and that the Clinton Administration has played virtually no part in efforts to negotiate peace between Afghan factions that have been fighting a civil war since Soviet troops withdrew.

When Mrs. Bhutto meets President Clinton, she seems likely to argue for an American responsibility to help Pakistan and Afghanistan deal with their narcotics problems. The argument is that Washington’s decision to channel billions of dollars in weapons and financial backing to the Afghan rebel groups in the 1980′s, without close scrutiny of the some of the Afghan leaders involved, contributed to a climate in which some of those leaders turned to heroin trafficking.

“We have been getting a bad name, and it is clear that our activity needs to be geared up,” Brig. Gen. Mohammed Aslam, deputy director of the new anti-narcotics force, said at his office in Rawalpindi.

But the general smiled when he was asked what part of the blame he attributed to the United States.

“I will only say this,” he said. “I believe that we in Pakistan are doing what we can to undo our part of the crime.”

Reference: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/05/world/heroin-scourges-million-pakistanis.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

PAKISTAN EXTRADITES DRUG SUSPECTS TO U.S. : CRIME: TURNING OVER ALLEGED KINGPINS IS LATEST MOVE BY ISLAMABAD THAT PLEASES AMERICAN OFFICIALS.

April 04, 1995|JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW DELHI — Two days before Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto leaves for a U.S. visit, her government handed over two alleged heroin kingpins to the United States and a court opened the way for more quick extraditions.

Haji Mirza Mohammed Iqbal Baig, once reputedly the head of Pakistan’s largest drug syndicate, and his lieutenant, Mohammed Anwar Khattak, were flown to the United States on Sunday night aboard an American aircraft, said officials at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the capital. The two Pakistanis’ names appear in more than 100 U.S. narcotics cases.

“There is a lot of evidence that these guys are big-time heroin dealers. We’re happy to bring them to justice,” a U.S. drug official in Islamabad said.

In Washington, Justice Department officials said the men were due to arrive Monday night in Hawaii and will be flown to Travis Air Force Base in Northern California’s Solano County before being transferred to New York for arraignment.

Baig and Khattak are wanted on various federal charges, including conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the United States. They had already been convicted by a Pakistani court in the 1985 seizure of more than 17 tons of hashish in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.

The drug dealers’ extradition, which the Clinton Administration had sought since 1993, is the latest of several tough-on-crime measures by Bhutto’s government that–by design or not–have especially pleased the United States.

On Feb. 7, Pakistani and U.S. agents joined forces in Islamabad to arrest Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing. He was flown to New York to stand trial.

Such actions will undoubtedly be cited by Bhutto, who leaves for the United States today, as proof of her determination to do her part in combatting the global narcotics trade and Islamic terrorism, two major U.S. security concerns.

Next Tuesday, Bhutto is scheduled to meet President Clinton at the White House. She has been seeking more U.S. help–including the lifting of a law that has barred most American aid to Pakistan since October, 1990, because of the Asian country’s nuclear weapons program.

Late last year, U.S. drug czar Lee P. Brown warned Bhutto that Pakistan could lose badly needed World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans unless the country, the world’s No. 3 opium producer, did more to stem narcotics production and trafficking.

*

U.S. drug officials have praised what has happened since. On March 23, more than 2,000 paramilitary troops staged an unprecedented drug raid in the remote, lawless Khyber region bordering Afghanistan. They seized 6.3 tons of highly refined heroin, as much as Pakistan normally confiscates in a year.

Baig and Khattak had been served notice earlier this year that they could be extradited to the United States. Pakistan’s law allows citizens in such a position to file a petition in court opposing extradition.

On Sunday, their petitions were rejected and they were quickly put on a plane for the United States.

Special correspondent Jennifer Griffin in Islamabad contributed to this report.

 

 

Drug barons' extradition challenged in SC 
-------------------------------------------------------------------  
*From  Nasir Malik 
 
ISLAMABAD, April 4: The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday  
about the admissibility ) of three petitions filed by the wives of  
alleged drug lords Mirza Iqbal Baig and Anwar Khattak against the Lahore  
High Court decision that cleared the way for their extradition to the  
United States. 
 
The Lahore High Court on Sunday allowed the extradition of seven drug  
barons, including Baig and Khattak. The two were immediately flown to  
the United States in a US military plane. 
 
Though apparently the petitions will make  little difference for Baig  
and Khattak who have already been sent abroad, they can affect the  
remaining five accused who are in Adiala Jail. 
 
One of the five accused, Nasrullah Hanjera has applied to the Supreme  
Court to grant an order blocking his possible extradition. 
 
Khawaja Haris, lawyer for the accused, has maintained in his petitions  
that the extraditions are in isolation of Section 5 (2) of Extradition  
Act 1972 which bars extradition until an accused has been  acquitted or  
completed a sentence in his own country. 
 
Interior Minister Naseerullah Babar told reporters on Monday that the  
alleged drug barons were handed over to the US authorities after  
completing all legal requirements. 
 
But constitutional experts say the government acted in haste by  
immediately parcelling the two accused thus denying them of their  
constitutional right to appeal before the Supreme Court. They also point  
out that the extradition was also contrary to Article 4 of the  
Extradition Agreement signed between the two countries. 
 
Article 4 says: The extradition shall not take place if the person aimed  
has already been tried, discharged or punished or is still under trial  
in the territories of the high contracting party (applied to in this  
case Pakistan) for the crime or offence for which his extradition is  
demanded. If the person claimed would be under examination or under  
punishment his extradition shall be deferred until the conclusion of the  
trial or the full execution of any punishment awarded to him." 
 
Haris told reporters that Baig and Khattak were still serving their  
five-year jail term awarded to them by a Karachi magistrate. Besides,  
two cases were also pending against them. 
 
For Drug Traffickers, Balochistan a Safe Haven
 
The Nation
 
March 7, 1995
 
Balochistan provides land and sea exist routes to international drug traffickers who operate in this province or in the tribal borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Owing to the ineffectiveness of governmental control, for drug traffickers to use these exit routes to their best advantage is not so difficult.

 

Balochistan’s Makran Coast along the Indian Ocean is the most active zone for drug smuggling operations, in which Afghan and Pakistani drug barons are allegedly engaged in the trafficking business. Drug traffickers are seemingly scared of operating through Iran, for fear of being hanged by its revolutionary authorities. Otherwise, Iran would have provided them a relatively easier road access to Turkey and then to Europe, the final destination for drugs.

Here comes the strategic importance of the Makran coastal range for drug traffickers. To some extent, the port of Karachi also acts as a drug trafficking exit point, in the wake of the current lawlessness in Pakistan’s financial centre. Khyber Pass and Vash crossing point at the Kandahar-Balochistan border remain the two normal road passages for drug traffickers, stationed in Afghanistan and bringing purified drugs from there to the southern coast of Balochistan.

Even otherwise, much of the Durand Line remains open for any sort of smuggling. Among other means of road transportations, trucks are frequently used to traffic drug. On these, the agents of drug barons travel hundreds of miles—and often without any fear, since their safely is assured allegedly by the government officials, including those belonging to Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF), Customs and Police departments, and the border security forces.

In some instance, state agencies are also helpless. For instance, the encounters between drug traffickers and jawans of the Frontier Corps (FC), patrolling along Balochistan’s borders with Kandahar, take place routinely. Many a times, the druglords of Afghanistan have kidnapped FC personnel men and taken them inside Afghanistan as hostages. They are released only after these barons are assured of “safe passage.”

Much of the poppy which after purification takes the shape of heroin and other drugs is still being grown in the war-ravaged Afghanistan. The rise of Taliban in southern Afghanistan has not made much of difference in the country’s poppy production capacity. In Helmand, for instance, the poppy cultivation remains as popular a profession as before.

The last of the drug processing factories in Balochistan were destroyed in December 1990, following a bloody skirmish between the FC and Notezai tribal forces. Such units, however, still exist reportedly in other parts of the lawless tribal areas. It is in the war-ravaged Afghanistan that heroin and other drugs are principally processed and produced. The drug barons are said to be benefiting the most form the prevailing anarchy in Afghanistan.

The operational ineffectiveness, willful collusion or helplessness of other state agencies aside, even ANTF has so far failed to make headway in checking the growing drug trafficking in the country. As a part of the Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (PNCB), the ANTF was created by the caretaker government of Moeen Qureshi in October 1993. The other three steps which the government had taken for the purpose were: the issuing of the Dangerous Drugs (Arms) Ordinance, 1993, under which drug traffickers can be hanged after being declared guilty of crime by the court of law; the extradition of five Pakistani drug traffickers to the United States who were facing drug charges in various US courts and, finally, the appointment of Maj Gen Salahuddin Trimzi as head of the PNCB and the ANTF.

One particular incident depicting the PNCB-ANTF failure—rather, ineffectiveness—was the arrest and, then, sudden release of Shorang Khan by the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) in Karachi in June 1994. Known as the king of heroin in Karachi, Shorang Khan is of Afghan origin a familiar name as far as Balochistan’s Chamman district. Despite protests by Gen. Trimzi, the CIA released him.

In terms of the powers vested in it, ANTF can override the authority of any other state security agencies in its anti-drug trafficking operations. It can employ the Army commandos during the operations. The Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate assists it in tracing the international connections of drug traffickers based in Pakistan. For the purpose, ANTF can also receive information from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Interpol.

In recent years, even some arrested or convicted drug barons in the Frontier province escaped from prison. In November 1994, three drug traffickers, two Afghans and one Pakistani, escaped from Peshawar jail. They were to be extradited to the US. In October 1993, Ammanullah Kundi, related to a former Federal Minister, escaped from his hospital confinement in Dera Ismail Khan. He was serving seven years in jail, after the court had proven him guilty of smuggling heroin to Germany. He also feared extradition. No one has been aware of his whereabouts since his escape.

Five of them—including Salim Malik, Khalid Khan, Taweez Khan, Shahid Hafeez Khawaja and Mishal Khan—were extradited by the former caretaker government. The sixth one, Muhammad Azam, was extradited in 1994 by the Benazir Bhutto government.Similarly, Haji Ayub Afridi who allegedly runs a drug empire from his stronghold in the Khyber Agency is still at large. In 1994, the tribal jirga freed him from all the charges leveled against him by Pakistani government and American courts. Like Shorang of Karachi and the Notezais of Chaghai, he is on the government’s Most Wanted list of drug traffickers. The United States had demanded the extradition from Pakistan of some 20 traffickers.

Many of the arrests of persons already extradited to the US or to be extradited were made following the joint PNCB-FC action against the Notezais in October and December 1990. For instance, those among the Notezais arrested following the action, confessed the names of their copartners such as Salim Malik (already extradited), Anwar Khattak and Mirza Iqbal Baig (facing extradition).

BALOCHISTAN SARDARS/FORMER MINISTERS AND BLA INVOLVED IN HEROIN SMUGGLING FROM PAKISTAN

 

A major obstacle to combating drug trafficking is the political clout of drug barons in provincial and central governments. Additionally, the continuing tribal warfare in Balochistan—between Hamidzais and Ghaibezais, Bugtis and Kalpars, Raisanis and Rinds. The government of formerChief Minister Zulfiqar Magsi was considered to be very weak—a loose coalition, with majority of parliamentarians out of a total of 43, elected as independents. Magsi himself does not have any political

association.

And in the police station of Jhal Magsi, the seat of his tribe, some 300 miles south west from Quetta, in an FIR registered against him by his uncle Sardar Yousaf Ali Khan Magsi, the Balochistan Chief Minister is accused of committing multiple murders, with court decision on the issue still pending. With such circumstances prevailing in Balochistan, which are nothing less than anarchic, the trans-national drug traffickers, based in this province or elsewhere, are having a field day.

 

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