Govt decides not to call Rangers in Punjab

Published: March 30, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet agreed not to requisition the paramilitary Rangers for any operation in Punjab with special policing powers.

The decision came a day after Army chief General Raheel Sharif ordered a Punjab-wide operation against suspected militants and their facilitators. Dozens of suspects were rounded up in the raids that continued on Tuesday.

Army to launch crackdown in Punjab after bomb kills 70: sources

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister House on Tuesday, Premier Nawaz held a consultative meeting with his cabinet and senior political leadership.  Federal ministers – Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pervaiz Rashid, Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Abdul Qadir Baloch – as well as Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Dr Asif Kirmani and Irfan Siddiqui attended the meeting. The statement did not say what transpired in the meeting.

However, sources privy to the meeting said the prime minister said, “There is no room for any [military] operation in Punjab as there are neither any safe havens of terrorists here nor a territory is controlled by militants”. Nawaz was of the view that there was a difference in the situation in the tribal areas or Karachi and that of Punjab. He said only intelligence-based operations – conducted by the Counter Terrorism Department – could be successful in the province. Nawaz said Sunday’s suicide attack in Lahore was an intelligence failure.

The PM said South Punjab was already poverty stricken and it needed good governance rather than a military operation. However, he directed the Punjab government to own the ongoing operation by the military and paramilitary forces.

Earlier, the leaders discussed the pros and cons of calling in the military and paramilitary forces with special policing powers under the ATA 1997. Some of the meeting participants were of the view that the ruling party would face political damage whether it requisitioned the Rangers or not.

No ‘joint action’ with police: Gen Raheel

They said if they requisitioned the Rangers with special policing powers, then at least 40 to 50 MNAs and MPAs of the party would be picked up over their alleged involvement in minor crimes.  Sources said the party leadership was of the view that if their lawmakers were picked, then a negative impression of the party would develop which would damage the party in the 2018 election.

However, some members said that in case the government did not requisition the Rangers, then it would also suffer from political damage as political parties would start their campaigns against the PML-N over not calling the Ranger in Punjab.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th,  2016.


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Reader Comments (20)

    Mar 30, 2016 - 9:08AM

    yes Punjab only wants to rule and control Karachi and Baluchistan by Rangers and F.C. Recommend

  • Peace
    Mar 30, 2016 - 9:37AM

    Live hypocrisy show, free tickets!Recommend

  • RA
    Mar 30, 2016 - 10:01AM

    “They said if they requisitioned the Rangers with special policing powers, then at least 40 to 50 MNAs and MPAs of the party would be picked up over their alleged involvement in minor crimes.” So wouldn’t it be better to have MNA’s and MPA’s who are not criminals? Straighten out, you idiots, otherwise Pakistan is going down the drain slowly, while the people are trying to rise.Recommend

  • Naim Khan
    Mar 30, 2016 - 10:47AM

    Nawaz doesn’t want Rangers in Punjab because most of the terrorists in Punjab are under the wings of his Ministers, you be surprised if Ministers So called ( DEARAS) private Offices, were Raided by Rangers, where criminal activities are planed, such as Election rigging, kidnapping, murders and the police turns blind eye. Our TV Channels normally issue warning to Terrorists cleanup operation is going to start so and so day, safe you lives. Early Morning raids are carried out in Europe On intelligent bases we don’t here on TV or in news papers, for gods sake I as a Patriotic Pakistani, I plead to our Media please think of Pakistan before you release a sensitive NEWS. We should be helping bring awareness to the people of Pakistan, and should be telling our Home Minister how to do his job, example Indian spy news should have been kept secret till all his contacts, facilitators,other agents were arrested, he was operating from Iran so Iranians we hold responsible first than Indians. Another example Bin- Ladin was from Saudi, USA held Afghanistan responsible! I ask the home minister please please close Indian and Iranian consulates in Karachi soon as. Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 30, 2016 - 11:21AM

    Now we know where army must start the operation first Recommend

  • YP Mississauga
    Mar 30, 2016 - 11:50AM

    Sir ji, they are already there not by choice but by compulsion.Recommend

  • Sajid
    Mar 30, 2016 - 3:27PM

    Abdul Mannan, are you serious? Recommend

  • observer
    Mar 30, 2016 - 5:33PM


    So, NO action against

    Ghazi Force,




    So much for ‘Fight Against Terrorism’.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Mar 30, 2016 - 7:10PM

    Unbelievable .. no safe havens in Punjab?Recommend

  • Junaid
    Mar 30, 2016 - 7:44PM

    These are so called leaders who could just think about the next elections. They cannot think out of box for the betterment of people. ONLY key interest is how to secure next election ! Shame on you Govt.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Mar 30, 2016 - 8:06PM

    There is no need to call army or rangers in Punjab because there is no MQM. and Nawaz Shareef cannot afford to loose their parliamentariansRecommend

  • Azi
    Mar 30, 2016 - 8:50PM

    Waiting for another incident to think about starting. Army shouldnt listen to them at all and start operations itself.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Mar 30, 2016 - 10:18PM

    No operation in Punjab since no traitors reside in Punjab. Outside the borders of Punjab, it’s a different scene. Just as always.Recommend

  • Azi
    Mar 30, 2016 - 11:11PM

    Keep voting for the same old tried and failed leaders again and again. Its a fate the people of this country truly deserve.Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Mar 30, 2016 - 11:22PM

    There is no need to call Army or Rangers, as JUD is already doing a good job.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 31, 2016 - 12:23AM

    All the PM is worried about is his vote bank, that relies heavily on the religious right…..the country and its well being is low down on his priority list.Recommend

  • sabi
    Mar 31, 2016 - 12:45AM

    Right if there is a political will Punjab police is quite capable of conducting terror based operations see the elimination of LEJ top brass.
    If some people think that rangers or any other force will come and eliminate politicians of their choice the are living in foo paradise. It will never happen.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Mar 31, 2016 - 2:43AM

    Punjab politicians are corrupt politicians they know that if Ranges come they will get them behind the bar Punjab MNA MPA they are involved in terrorist activities they are facilitated these terrorist organization
    PM Nawaz and Shahbaz will never call Ranges in Punjab they knew each and every thing
    General Raheel Sharif Zindabad Pakistan Army PaindabadRecommend

  • syed & syed
    Mar 31, 2016 - 3:17AM

    @Sandip It is matter of good or bad governance and Nawaz Shareef & Associates are trying to improve governance. If army comes then 80% of PMLN parliamentarians and ministers will be behind bars:Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Apr 2, 2016 - 5:31PM

    If differences not resolved amicably there will be quick march. Mian brothers still there are seven months to November 2016.Recommend

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