Sindh government opposes Rangers stations in Karachi

Top court tells govt to consult stakeholders in public interest

Naeem Sahoutara March 09, 2016


The Sindh government has objected to the paramilitary Rangers proposal to create a separate policing structure in Karachi, as it will create a parallel criminal justice system in the country.

On Tuesday, the provincial government submitted its response in the Supreme Court, hearing the suo motu case of Karachi violence, to the Rangers demand for setting up police stations with investigation and prosecution powers.

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

“The proposal involves constitutional and legal intricacies that would need to be addressed with due diligence and care,” said the Sindh chief secretary before the apex court’s Karachi registry.

Siddique Memon said the proposal almost suggested creating a parallel system of criminal justice and hence required considerable evaluation and scrutiny.

A day earlier, the paramilitary force had lashed out at the provincial government for “limiting its legal powers” against the facilitators, abettors and financers of terrorists. The Rangers urged the court to allow them to establish a separate system with powers to lodge FIRs and prosecution to effectively continue the ongoing Karachi operation.

Siddique maintained that most of the issues raised by Rangers had been resolved at the level of the provincial apex committee and offered unflinching support to the security force in maintaining law and order. The government, however, maintained the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 did not provide any time-frame of continuing to solicit assistance from the paramilitary force.

Siddique said there had been no snags in Rangers’ power extensions and the 90-day period was fixed in consultations with the stakeholders.

Sindh govt extends Rangers’ special powers for 90 days

The response stated the Sindh apex committee in two different meetings had decided to take assistance from Pakistan Army and Rangers over appointments in police. Around 8,000 personnel are to be inducted in the law enforcement agency.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who heads the five-member bench, asked the chief secretary to discuss these issues with the federal and provincial governments and all other stakeholders to address Rangers grievances in larger public interest.

Action against absconders

Sindh IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali also presented fresh statistics on the ongoing trials of suspects and those absconding or wanted otherwise in criminal cases.

In 10 anti-terrorism courts in Karachi, the report stated 1,104 criminals were absconding in various cases pending trial. Of them, 767 absconders were wanted in pending cases while 319 were absconding in dormant cases.

Sindh govt extends policing powers for Rangers by a month

When CJP Jamali questioned how many criminals involved in 159 targeted killings in 2015 had been arrested, the IGP replied 39 criminals were arrested while 15 more were killed in shootouts.

Karachi East SSP (Investigations) told the apex court that 15,000 people were killed in Karachi in the past 15 years while criminals involved in 7,000 killings were tracked down by police. The remaining cases have been reopened and are being reinvestigated, he added.

The top judge observed many police officers were upset because there was no security of tenure and cited the example of the Darakhshan police station, where seven SHOs were transferred within 15 months.

The bench directed the IGP to look into the matter and make a policy to be strictly implemented.

Rangers policing powers: Sindh on warpath against Centre

The judges were also shocked by the disclosure that seven convicts sentenced for life by anti-terrorism courts had been released on parole in 2015. Four of the prisoners were charged with kidnapping for ransom. The chief secretary was directed to submit a report on how could the four convicts be released on parole legally.

The SC bench also directed newly appointed Board of Revenue senior member Rizwan Memon to inform the court on the time required for matching the recently computerised record of unregistered state lands in Karachi.

The hearing was adjourned till March 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2016.


S.R.H. Hashmi | 5 years ago | Reply The real answer to Karachi’s law and order problems is to develop the local police to a level where it can deal firmly, efficiently and impartially, and without any interference from government or any other quarter. And this obviously can not be done without reforming the government first. And it would indeed be a big favour to the country and the nation if Supreme court – either acting on its own through suo motu action, or on a petition from any concerned citizen, took steps to ensure that only people of integrity reach the Assemblies, subsequently forming government and an effective opposition. Conditions determining eligibility and ineligibility are already there in the Constitution and what remains to be done is to define them in clear, unambiguous and easily applicable terms, perhaps in a checklist form. Once men of integrity start entering Assemblies, they will most likely introduce reforms including that of Police, improving it qualitatively and quantitatively, and in time, make it an effective force, able to deal with the problems of the city. No doubt the Rangers have done a wonderful job by bringing fair degree of peace to the city. However, in principle, there is something terribly wrong with having a law enforcement agency in the city which is not under the direct control of the elected representatives acting through the officials appointed by them. And this can lead to unfortunate consequences when the force has its own ideas and preferences. Like there are articles and reports in the press which suggest that the idea behind the Karachi operation was to cripple MQM and to create space for PTI or even Jamaat-e-Islami. Also efforts are reported to be underway to resurrect a new MQM by undermining the present leadership through administrative measures as well as media trial by way of airing of videos of condemned prisoner Saulat Mirza, coming up with a formidable list of crimes committed in respect of any MQM member just apprehended – with very many of the charges not even pressed while taking him to court - and now alleged backing of Mustafa Kamal and others. We also see that the former Sind interior minister remains a free man despite his boast of issuing 300,000 arms licences and not for celebratory firing at wedding as well as his close association with characters like Uzair Baloch, as do many other smilar characters. And we did not have many television appearances by Uzair Baloch like we had for Saulat Mirza. I hope the Supreme Court will take measures which in due course will provide a permanent solution to the problems of the city, rather of the country, by ensuring strict compliance with the eligibility and ineligibility conditions for Assembly aspirants as provided in the Constitution, while treating the Rangers’ help as a temporary measure, with powers kept at present levels and subject to periodic renewals. After all, many of Pakistan’s problems, including its break up and the rampant intolerance, extremism and terrorism that that we see devouring Pakistan, happen to be the work of some over-ambitious Generals who were perhaps long on patriotism, in the narrowest sense of the word, while terribly short on common-sense and balanced, unbiased thinking. Karachi
IBN E ASHFAQUE | 5 years ago | Reply We also need Rangers in courts as well as K Electric, KWSB as well as KDA in fact even in our assemblies and executive and judiciary. Let us have martial law legally in Karachi only all problems will be solved...............May Allah guide us all.....
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