On February 18, 2015 a youth was killed in Lyari, Karachi in an encounter with the Rangers. The dead body of the person was identified as Talha Baloch aka Gwadari.
According to the police Gwadari, aged 24, died in a firing exchange. City SP Aftab Nizamani claimed that Gwadari was involved in the recent murder of 3 PPP workers and was a prominent member of Uzair Baloch‘s group.
Our correspondent in Gwadar reports that Talha was a popular boxer in Gwadar. Talking to Talha’s relatives in the city, the correspondent learnt that Talha had extraordinary boxing abilities but was disappointed at the lack of career opportunities. They claimed that a lot of top officials promised him a chance in the ring but none fulfilled it, leaving Talha dishearted.
Talha’s friends told our correspondent that he eventually gave up on boxing altogether and couldn’t find a job for two years. Ultimately, he left his city altogether and went to Karachi in 2008 where he joined the gang war in Lyari.
Lyari is known for producing excellent boxers over the years. In 1988, a Lyari boxer Hussain Shah won the bronze medal for Pakistan in Olympic Games. The neighborhood features many boxing clubs but the coaches bemoan lack of opportunities.
This isn’t the first time a boxer has been killed in Lyari. Stuck between poverty and the notorious Lyari gang war, boxers often have to pay with their lives. In certain instances in the past, boxers in Lyari have been killed both by the local gangs as well as by the Rangers. Many are forced to join the gangs and so turn to crime.