When we say words like ‘notorious criminals’ most of us imagine a mafia don, like the one portrayed by Indian movies or shows like Narcos. The reality behind these criminals is far worse and far more terrifying than what we perceive to be as seen on TV. Today we decided to talk about some of the most notorious criminals of our country that are not only involved in criminal activities like drug trafficking and arms dealing, but have also been responsible for the deaths of hundreds and thousands of innocent citizens. Our law enforcement agencies and soldiers have bravely fought these terrorist elements since the start of history, but with time newer faces keep appearing on the radar. This is a battle that continues irrespective of the economic, political, and social conditions of the country. That is what makes these criminals so very dangerous.
Dakait literally means dacoit. Almost attaining the status of a mythical figure, Rehman Dakait, was a famous gangster renowned for his role in Karachi’s Lyari gang war. His real name is Sardar Abdul Rahman Baloch, and he is the cousin of another similarly notorious personality Sardar Uzair Jan Baloch. Rehman Dakait had founded a proper socio-political front called People’s Aman Committee (PAC). It is said to be a militant wing associated with Pakistan People’s Party. PAC had a renowned rivalry with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Rehman Dakait was eventually killed in a police encounter in 2009. Uzair Baloch took over the gang after the death of Rehman Dakait.
This one character from the Pakistani criminals’ history has had a dramatic news history as well. He has been reported dead multiple times, so when he was eventually actually killed, it took public some time to believe the news. The last false report had come from Iran in 2015, where some TV channels had even showed footage of a body claiming it to be Baba Ladla. Baba Ladla was born Noor Muhammad to a laborer father. In the 1980s Haji Lalu named gangster started getting renowned in Layari. He and Rehman Dakait formed a gang and recruited young men, among whom one was Noor Muhammad. Eventually be became Rehman Dakait’s right-hand man.
In February 2017, Rangers issued a water tight statement that said, “The killing of Baba Ladla group [members] is a lesson for all those youngsters, who inspired by leaders like Baba Ladla are backing or linked to crimes, that they cannot escape the grasp of law.”
While we are at the topic of Karachi’s gang war, another name is as notable as Rehman Dakait – Ghaffar Zikri. He was one of the last remaining chapters in the Lyari’s drug dons era. Civil unrest, extortion, drug dealing, peddling, you name it and Zikri had it on his resume. In the early nineties, when Haji Lalu named criminal rose to prominence, a young lad named Rehman joined his gang (who later became to be known as Rehman Dakait). When Rehman Dakait had learnt all he needed from Lalu, he parted ways with him and made his own gang with Baba Ladla and made a new entrant into his gang - Ghaffar Zikri. Under him, Lyari went through a new wave of brutality and he became to be the most feared gangster in the area. The government had announced a reward of Rs 2,500,000 for Zikri. He was gunned down by the police on 4th October 2018.
Ghulam Rasool alias Chotu was the head of infamous Chotu gang that was involved in murder, kidnapping and several other criminal activities, operating out of Kacha area of Rajanpur. Chotu gang was especially known for kidnapping people for ransom from Karachi, Baluchistan and Rahim Yar Khan. Police forces clashed with the gang multiple times, often in armed conflicts. In 2013 Punjab police held an operation where the gang used weapons procured from Afghanistan including an anti-aircraft gun.
In April 2016, Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Aahan against Chotu gang. After a battle that lasted 20 days, eventually the gang surrendered along with its leader. It was reported in the news next day that according to the sources Ghulam Rasool was moved to unidentified location via helicopter.
Known as a political hitman, you probably also remember him from every day’s 9 pm bulletin back in 2015. Although the face you might remember would be of a person with a white taqiyah cap and greying beard. Mirza was a political activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), better known for his target killings than political activism.
In 1997, he was convicted for a triple murder of a bureaucrat and managing-director of KESC (now K-Electric) Shahid Hamid, along with his driver Ashraf Brohi, and his guard Khan Akbar. Anti-terrorism court awarded him death sentence in 1999, and all his clemency applications after that were rejected by the Sindh High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan.
His execution was once delayed after he claimed in a video confession that the chief of former MQM had ordered him to carry out the killings. He was hanged on 11th May 2015 in Mach prison. The jail officials said that he was calm and composed at gallows. He is also said to have left a note, the contents of which are not known.
Carrying Rs 20 million bounty on his head Nazar Ali Narejo was a feared dacoit from Sindh. For more than two decades he ruled with fear and by the time of his death had charges of more than 200 cases of plundering, kidnapping, murder, and highway robbery. He was well educated and had studied sociology from University of Sindh, Jamshoro.
According to a story done by Herald on March 17, 2015 said that Nazar’s father Rab Rakhio Narejo alias Rabbu “had allegedly killed Naseem Ahmed Kharal, a Sindhi short story writer, in 1978 following a land dispute. He was arrested but when released on bail he absconded and became a criminal.” Rabbu committed dacoities in the cities and then retreated to the forests, while Nazar often accompanied him which soon turned him into a dacoit as well. In the mid-1980s, Rabbu was killed in a police encounter. Nazroo Narejo also found the same fate in July 2015 when he finally fell to the bullets of police during a police encounter near Garhi Yasin area.
This Pakistani Canadian ISIS fighter’s real name is not known. He has spoken to several news outlets over the course of past few years at the condition of not revealing his real name. he has also become some sort of a political battle in Canada. In a podcast on The New York Times website in 2018, he confessed that he murdered two people while fighting for ISIS. He has been criticized by conservatives, some of whom have called for him to be found and arrested.
“I guess the title of having been a Mujahideen,” said Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi, the infamous ISIS fighter at the center of the “Caliphate” podcast, “it's just not something you want to give up so easily.” He also said, “I guess the title of having been a Mujahideen, it's just not something you want to give up so easily.” His exact whereabouts are unknown, but rumors are that he lives in Toronto.
This one is a con artist. Sibtul Hasan Shah, more popularly known as Doble Shah, did not kill anyone but he did rob hundreds of people of their money, mostly poor ones. He created and managed a Ponzi scheme whereby he asked his neighbors and colleagues to lend him their savings which he would return them doubled in fifteen days. The first person to believe his promise was his next-door neighbor, followed by a few others who actually did get their money doubled within a fortnight. Eventually Shah increased the payback time from fifteen days to seventy days, with the same promise of returning twice the amount given to him.
In 2007 he was arrested after a notable newspaper exposed his scheme on the front page. He was arrested on the charges of Rs 30,000 robbery, and was later given into the custody of NAB (National Accountability Bureau). After investigations, it came to light that during his eighteen months long con he had stolen over Rs 110 million. He was sentenced to fourteen years rigorous imprisonment in 2014 but was later released on a plea bargain. The details of his death are unknown, but news reports that he died on 30th October, 2015. In January 2018, NAB detected another person following the same Ponzi scheme as Double Shah in Lahore. The details of this case are also not available.
This criminal is also fresh in the minds of people, since it hasn’t been long that his name made headlines all over the world. Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh is the founder of the diploma mill company Axact, the same company that had been in the news for awarding fake degrees. On May 17th 2015, The New York Times published an in-depth report exposing the fake degree business of Axact, which eventually led to Sheikh’s arrest on 17th may and the sealing of Axact on 28th May.
Sheikh was given bail prior to his conviction. However, on 26th May 2015 he was arrested by FIA again. On 26th September last year, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.
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