Karachi operation: Rangers stand as an anti-terror bulwark

Published: December 19, 2015
Corps commander says uncertain conditions encourage criminals. PHOTO: RANGERS

Corps commander says uncertain conditions encourage criminals. PHOTO: RANGERS


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.

Peace in Karachi only restored after Rangers were given special powers: Corps Commander

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.

Sindh govt hampering Karachi operation to save ‘just one man’: Nisar

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.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Dec 19, 2015 - 1:43PM

    While flying even a small aeroplane, one cannot just set the direction at the start of the journey and sit back, fully confident of reaching the destination. In fact, during flight, cross-winds keep pushing the plane away from its destination and one has to keep correcting the course all the time. With that being so, just how could our top officials think that a large operation like the one being conducted in Karachi could achieve the desired results – despite all sorts of ‘gale-force cross-winds’, without a committee of independent, competent persons monitoring its progress and correcting the cross at initial stages. If such a committee was there from the start, as was planned and promised, it would have kept the operation on the right course, and the sort of breakdown we now see would not have occurred.

    And while Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah was designated as the ‘Captain’ of the operation, his authority was not prescribed in necessary detail. That takes me back a few decades to the time when I was a student in Europe. Government enacted legislation requiring all motor-cycle riders to wear helmets. And the Police apprehended a bike rider for violating the rules while the rider insisted that he was acting within the law. The problem was that the rider was wearing the helmet on his knee, taking advantage of the vagueness in law which required wearing of the helmet, without stating where one was to wear it.

    The incident led to court cases, with losing party appearing at the higher court, with the highest court deciding in favour of the bike rider. Needless to say, the law was amended to read that every bike rider must war a helmet, on his or her head.

    Perhaps some similar confusion reigns here. While the Sindh Chief Minister – and his government – interpret ‘Captain’ as overall incharge and ultimate boss of the Karachi operation, our friends in uniform take the position as more like that of an army Captain, which position stands a good five and six notches below that of a Major General and Lieutenant General respectively.

    I honestly believe that the matter here is more of attitude rather than that of anything else.

    As for myself, judging on the basis of past performance, I place no particular preference on over-ambitious Generals who mostly started on the right lines but ended up much the same, or worse – taking a long-term view – than the corrupt, inept politicians and I hold them both responsible for bringing the country to this sorry state.


  • Raja
    Dec 19, 2015 - 2:19PM

    The irk in army ranks clearly show they are sincere to keep the financial hub cleared of terrorism. PPPP is the worst govt we could haveRecommend

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