Calling the Rangers a bulwark in the fight against terrorism, Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar pledged on Friday that the paramilitary force would continue to protect the people.
Lt Gen Mukhtar’s remarks came on a visit to the Sindh Rangers headquarters – the first after the Sindh Assembly finally approved an extension in the powers of Rangers in Karachi.
The corps commander addressed the paramilitary soldiers during his visit and was also given a detailed briefing of the Karachi operation by officials.
While lauding the role of officers taking part in the Karachi operation, Mukhtar said that peace in the metropolis was made possible after assigning Rangers with special powers. He vowed the paramilitary force would keep on playing an effective role to protect Karachi’ites from terrorism.
“Rangers role against terrorism serves as a backbone for Karachi,” stated a statement issued later. “Uncertain conditions reinforce criminal elements.” Though the corps commander has visited the Rangers headquarters several times since taking charge, this was his first visit following the Sindh Assembly’s resolution, which clipped the powers of Rangers to arrest anyone under the allegations of financing terrorists without the prior approval of Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.
Since the Karachi operation was launched in September 2013, Rangers have conducted over 5,000 targeted operations and arrested over 10,000 individuals. Nearly 5,000 suspects have been handed over to the police. However, 31 paramilitary soldiers have also lost their lives in various targeted attacks and bombings in the metropolis while performing their operational duties.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2015.