Will resign if I can't find out who deployed Rangers at court: Ahsan

Published: October 2, 2017
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Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal addresses media in Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal addresses media in Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal threatened to resign on Monday after he and senior PML-N leaders, accompanying Nawaz Sharif for the hearing of a corruption reference against the deposed prime minster were barred from entering the courthouse by Rangers officials.

The paramilitary force was deployed at the Federal Judicial Complex on Monday, where the accountability court is located, stopping media and senior politicians, including some federal cabinet members, from entering the premises.

NAB references: Oct 9 set for Sharif’s indictment

It was not clear as to who called the Rangers. Just hours after the interior minister protested, the Islamabad administration issued a statement, saying that it had not sent for the paramilitary forces. The accountability court judge also told reporters that he had not sought the deployment.

On Monday, Ahsan Iqbal, Talal Chaudhry, Pervaiz Rashid, Raja Zafarul Haq and Danial Aziz were accompanying the deposed premier for his second appearance before the accountability court. However, only Sharif was allowed entry inside the court premises, while the others were turned away.

Speaking to the media outside the court, Iqbal asked whose orders the Rangers was following, and promised an inquiry into and disciplinary action over the incident. He said that he might resign in protest if he could not hold the institution which works under his ministry accountable.

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“Rangers is a force under the Interior Ministry and is supposed to work under the command of the civil administration,” he said. “I will resign as interior minister if [I can’t] established who deployed Rangers as they’re supposed to be taking orders from me,” a charged Iqbal added. “I cannot be a puppet interior minister… There can’t be a state within state.”

The spokesperson for the commissioner Islamabad said in a statement that the deputy commissioner concerned had received a letter from the capital city’s Senior Superintendent of Police Operations, seeking deployment of the Rangers at the courthouse for Sharif’s appearance on Monday.

However, after the deputy commissioner and the SSP operations discussed the matter, no further action was taken, the spokesperson said, adding that the Rangers were neither deployed on the deputy commissioner’s order, nor requisitioned by the capital city administration.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters in the courtroom after the hearing of the NAB reference against Sharif, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir also said that he did not pass any order asking Rangers to take over security at the Federal Judicial Complex.

 

Legal experts said that no authority other than the Islamabad administration could requisition the paramilitary troops. “Principally, the authority to ask for deployment of troops vests with the civil administration which in Islamabad is headed by a chief commissioner and deputy commissioner,” said Advocate Shoaib Shaheen.

He added that even if a judge wanted Rangers to be deployed, he would have to ask the civil administration for it.

[With additional reporting by Arsalan Altaf]

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Reader Comments (23)

  • AQ
    Oct 2, 2017 - 10:13AM

    The corrupt ministers don’t even deserve to enter in Pakistan. They are filth of Pakistan living on corrupt money and talking like they own it. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 2, 2017 - 10:21AM

    Who is stopping you?!!Recommend

  • Ts
    Oct 2, 2017 - 10:29AM

    Nawaz puppet. Was he sleeping when nawaz is bringing ammendments in paliament to save himself and his corrupt croonies from accountability.Recommend

  • bashir gul
    Oct 2, 2017 - 11:03AM

    You are a puppet of corruption. Shameless ministers never resign.Recommend

  • asim
    Oct 2, 2017 - 11:14AM

    Protecting their corrupt leader.Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Oct 2, 2017 - 11:35AM

    The establishment doesn’t really care. They have the control over the country any how.Recommend

  • SM
    Oct 2, 2017 - 11:40AM

    It’s disgusting that some ‘super state entity’ can so openly flaunt rules and functioning of the government. The rangers are subservient to the interior ministry and no one else. period.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Oct 2, 2017 - 11:49AM

    A country where a convict is given state protocol for appearing in court clearly shows the sorry state of affairs and more importantly the bleak prospect for any improvement in near future.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Oct 2, 2017 - 1:13PM

    He will never resign on principle. None of these politicians will ever resign on principle.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 2, 2017 - 1:21PM

    @Shahid: Bitter truth indeed.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 2, 2017 - 1:39PM

    @SM: Yeah right!!! Whereas it is absolutely fine to give official protocol etc. to a someone who was kicked out by SC!! Under which rule is NS staying in Punjab House etc. By the way, one can not talk about rules, regulations etc and PMLN in the same sentence!Recommend

  • Ameer Qaisrani
    Oct 2, 2017 - 2:01PM

    Well done Rangers!
    Mr. Minister you are being paid to work for state not for Na-Ahl Sharif!?!Recommend

  • Lalit
    Oct 2, 2017 - 2:09PM

    What a strange place Pakistan is ! They elect a govt but don’t give any power to them and expect them to transform the country overnight.Case in point ,a home minister has no power over his para military who are supposed to receive order directly from him.People are free to abuse even the premier of their country with choicest of abuses but fear to speak against even a naib Subedar of army for his wrong doing.This level of servitude to army boots rightly proves that Pakistan is a country fit to be ruled by Martial laws.They behave normally under a Military jackboot and democracy is not their cup of tea.
    PS: writing a comment of this nature and expecting it to see the light of the day is an irony in itself.Recommend

  • kilo
    Oct 2, 2017 - 2:56PM

    What..Rangers took over control without orders ? what’s new or so special about it ?? they have routinely been doing so in Karachi/Sindh since agesRecommend

  • Syed
    Oct 2, 2017 - 8:09PM

    Who is stopping you from giving resignation? Just do it and cry for corrupt democracy . Is this ur job responsibility to provide protocol for corrupt prime minister. U don’t have any other important work rather cry for your disobedience at the courts. Recommend

  • Shah S
    Oct 2, 2017 - 8:15PM

    @SM: Prejudiced mind you have …; Read.. the Islamabad Police called them Rangers .. read the official letter of the Police; Recommend

  • Nadir Sadiq
    Oct 2, 2017 - 10:23PM

    If the court barred people from coming in then who in the world is Ahsan Iqbal – Like master like slave. Please resign, we do not need arrogant hot heads like you aroundRecommend

  • Punjabi
    Oct 3, 2017 - 1:10AM

    This is an insult to civilization honestly I have no idea where is the country heading. The world laughs as we play the game of kings. Recommend

  • bikaar billy
    Oct 3, 2017 - 4:06AM

    What ? Still there ? Resign already !Recommend

  • Sabir Khan
    Oct 3, 2017 - 8:59AM

    What you waiting for? Just Go. One more burden on tax payer.Recommend

  • Javed Mirani
    Oct 3, 2017 - 9:26AM

    @SM:
    No, they are on payroll of public. Iqbal was kicked out for tuancy,. He ge%ting paid for working in parlament,. Not ad servant NS family.Recommend

  • illpopo
    Oct 3, 2017 - 11:36AM

    You must be ashamed of your status & title of being “Interior Minister”! Ironically, interior minister is unaware of the deployment? Apparently It’s not difficult to assume who may have ordered the deployment. You guys have just been given time to hover around till completion of assembly tenure! The entire PMLN squad remains unaware of exercising authorities/governance, even a police constable knows better how to implement control and use of power!! Recommend

  • manzer
    Oct 7, 2017 - 5:30AM

    Ahsan Iqbal’s resignation will not solve the problem. The person who did the unauthorized deployment is the one who should resign.Recommend

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