Sindh Rangers want to set up its own ‘police stations’ in Karachi

Published: March 8, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Sindh Rangers Director General Maj Gen Bilal Akbar urged the Supreme Court on Monday to allow the paramilitary force to set up its own ‘police stations’ as he took a swipe at the police for its poor investigation.

“If this is done, obviously after registering FIR and conducting investigation, challans shall be filed in normal courts or anti-terrorism courts established under the judicial system of Pakistan,” Maj Gen Akbar told the apex court’s five-member bench.

Sindh Assembly adopts resolution to curtail Rangers’ special powers

The bench resumed hearing of the Karachi law and order suo motu case at its Karachi registry.

Presenting a progress report before the court at its  Karachi registry, the Rangers DG said that between September 2013 and March 4, 2016, the paramilitary force had arrested 5,096 suspects who had been handed over to the police for prosecution. Of these 168 had been convicted while 83 had been acquitted by the courts while 1,156 had been released on bail.

The report, filed by Advocate Shahid Anwar Bajwa on behalf of DG Rangers, claimed that over 1,100 suspected criminals had been let off the hook over the past 18 months owing to faulty police investigations.

As an example, the report quoted the case of a man who is allegedly involved in the attack on a bus in Safoora Goth in May 2015, which left at least 46 people dead. The report pointed out that the suspect had been arrested in 2011 but was let go after the police failed to properly investigate the case and produce evidence, even though intelligence reports clearly indicated he intended to commit greater acts. “This he certainly did at Safoora Goth.”

Maj Gen Akbar blamed the government’s frequent transfer policy as one of the causes for the police’s lacklustre performances. He pointed out that investigation officers are changed frequently at five police stations tasked with handling cases brought by Rangers. “The result has been nothing.”

The absence of tenure security, he pointed out, persists at multiple levels.

“Even within 2015 three or four home secretaries were changed,” he said. In contrast, only two DG Rangers had been changed in the past five years.

Further, he lamented the quality of recruits within the police system which led to poor investigation of cases.

“Recruitment in Sindh police is not on the basis of merit and neither [do officers] receive sufficient training.”

Things, Maj Gen Akbar said, had become worse since the Rangers presented former federal petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain before courts. Before the case, the paramilitary force had been provided 11 prosecutors to deal with various cases. Since then, the request made to the Sindh Home Department on December 9 to notify prosecutors in 110 cases was still pending.

DG Rangers alleged that the Sindh government’s actions were tantamount to limiting the legal powers and actions of the paramilitary force. “If they were not allowed to apprehend terrorism facilitators, abettors, financers and others involved in criminal activity, how could any action against terrorism be effective?” he asked.

Warning that the current law and order situation, which had improved in recent years, was fragile, he urged the apex court to take effective steps in depoliticising the police, make the process of appointments in the force transparent and merit based while ensuring security of tenure for those involved in law enforcement.

He also urged the SC to extend the term for police powers for Rangers to yearly basis.

Karachi operation: Sindh extends Rangers powers

The SC judges observed that the Rangers’ report was akin to a charge-sheet against the provincial government. They subsequently directed provincial chief secretary Muhammad Siddique Memon to submit ‘para-wise’ response to the Rangers report today (Tuesday).

Earlier, Sindh Police Chief Ghulam Haider Jamali said that the situation in the
metropolis had improved remarkably with incidents of targeted killing down to just 159 during 2015. He added that police was working jointly with Rangers intelligence to control crimes.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • ibs
    Mar 8, 2016 - 9:18AM

    This is a step in the right direction for durable peace and security in the metropolis. Karachi is the heart beat of Pakistan. To keep it running 24/7 we need a force in the city that can apprehend and subsequently hold criminals accountable. All the points and proposals by Gen. Akbar are correct and will be supported by the majority. This will bring ALOT more confidence in the people of the city as well as investors!

    May Allah bless the city and country with durable peace and security for everyone.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Mar 8, 2016 - 12:02PM

    This should be implemented in Punjab forthwith. Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 8, 2016 - 12:38PM

    Implement in entire country not just karachi . Dont make it an occupied territory Recommend

  • Hameed
    Mar 8, 2016 - 2:04PM

    Why don’t they do it in Punjab first and take care of the many high profile cases or corruption murders etc? Recommend

  • OSD
    Mar 8, 2016 - 2:54PM

    I support the demand but they should not undermine the police at any cost. This will kill the support for this operation. A better solution will be to push the sindh government to surrender control of the police so that it can perform its duty.Recommend

  • Asad
    Mar 8, 2016 - 3:22PM

    Why not hand over Police department to function under Army for 5/10 years. Half of Pakistan’s corruption and mismanagement in law and order will disappear. It will also streamline VIP culture.Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Mar 8, 2016 - 3:41PM

    The problem is true. And the result must be that we no more want POLICE. As if they are not effective or Stone in the Way of justice. Why we need police then and why a huge budget to be serve on them.Recommend

  • Student
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:06PM

    Acknowledged. Recommend

  • Hondar Marumdi
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:26PM

    Why duplicate. Just hand over police to Rangers. All of Karachi will support it.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:28PM

    Move in the right direction. Police needs to be replaced pronto as they cannot manage anything apart from a few lathi-charges now and then.Recommend

  • Nawaz
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:30PM

    birlliant idea!!Recommend

  • goldconsumer
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:41PM

    As it is said “Hum wakeel nahi, judge kartay hain”
    Rangers should set up their own jails and judiciary!Recommend

  • Lohaar Sharif
    Mar 8, 2016 - 4:58PM

    What! Citizens of Karachi have to pay and deal with two? lol!Recommend

  • Selective enforcement
    Mar 8, 2016 - 5:21PM

    “Earlier, Sindh Police Chief Ghulam Haider Jamali said that the situation in the
    metropolis had improved remarkably with incidents of targeted killing down to just 159 during 2015. He added that police was working jointly with Rangers intelligence to control crimes.”
    I59 is still high and he calls it just “159.”
    Working jointly with Rangers… selectively?
    The Sindh Government’s influence on Police, if any, for letting off 1100 suspects must be investigated.Recommend

  • Contra
    Mar 8, 2016 - 5:23PM

    When Sindh Government itself has criminals and/or links with criminals how can it fairly conduct an anti-crime operation?Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    Mar 8, 2016 - 5:27PM

    Instead of rangers setting up police stations in Karachi and adding one further layer of confusion to the mess in Karachi and Sindh, they and others must demand an independent, non political police selected by an independent public safety commission with police selected locally. All outsider imposed law and order efforts soon gain colonial connotations and the resultant resentment among those being policed.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 8, 2016 - 5:32PM

    @ibs: Rangers demand is contrary to constitution. Even if we amend constitution and give what Rangers want, within few months, Rangers would become another Police force. Authority and public dealings would make them corrupt and lazy. That is the reason armed forces are kept away from general public. If Police Force is bad, then we should fix it. Raising another Police Force is not a good idea. Rangers are also Pakistanis, same people with same ambitions. Recommend

  • Sagheer
    Mar 8, 2016 - 5:42PM

    Root cause of hindering proper investigations against criminals goes back to feudalism. The country needs an overhaul so that feudalism is eliminated. We need an Army General to clean the mess. Let us give powers to the Army for at least two years, if not five.Recommend

  • Mar 8, 2016 - 6:29PM

    If in seventy-years the police have not reformed then the time is now. How long can uncivilised persons continue to be elected to public offices and reject reforms in all spheres of our life that remains medieval.
    The Police Order of 2002 should be implemented with necessary changes and implemented without delay.
    The sooner Rangers get not two but several police stations and action is taken by the courts against criminals, the sooner will progress and civility return to Karachi. SalamsRecommend

  • Sam
    Mar 8, 2016 - 7:17PM

    I support this. Police is corrupt and almost at all times is on the side of criminals. They is part of the problem. Why not send them all home – if we can’t try them in courts. Recommend

  • Short Run
    Mar 8, 2016 - 8:05PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    In the short run, the Rangers should be given police powers, say for two years. In the short run the Rangers cannot become corrupt.
    Unless, the Rangers are given such powers crime cannot be controlled in Karachi, which needs to be totally deweaponized.
    Think out of the box for once.Recommend

  • NHA
    Mar 9, 2016 - 12:35AM

    @Hameed:

    Karachi is bleeding. Its needs and history is different than Punjab. Rangers have ligimtimate right to ask for special dispensation . If special courts cabn be made , why not have Rangers Stations and authority to investigate and prosecute should forthwith be given . Recommend

  • syed
    Mar 9, 2016 - 12:55AM

    Very appropriate demand by DG Rangers. The Rangers catch the criminals at the cost of their own live and these criminals were let off by Police after swindling bribe from them. Either the whole Police should be put under command Rangers or Police power should be extended to Rangers.That would ensure effective and prompt execution.Recommend

  • Jamhoor
    Mar 9, 2016 - 3:42AM

    Why not have a Rangers judge in a Rangers court? It will speed up the process of who is guilty and who is not?Recommend

  • Hameed
    Mar 9, 2016 - 8:40AM

    @NHA:

    Karachi is bleeding. Its needs and history is different than Punjab.

    When banned groups are demanding rangers’ presence then this is hardly a solution that Karachi needs. There is something fishy going on such as occupation of last place not occupied so far ie Karachi.

    Punjab is bleeding too and there are,high profile cases that for which nothing is done.Recommend

  • Syed
    Mar 11, 2016 - 2:15AM

    @Jamhoor:
    We already have Military Courts, which are fully competent and can dispose off these case maximum within a month. These fraud degree Jamhuras (abettors / facilitators / promotersof these criminals), don’t send the cases to Military Courts.Recommend

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