No more extensions? Sindh to reconsider policing powers for Rangers

Published: July 8, 2015
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Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah says govt needs to seek approval of provincial assembly .
. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah says govt needs to seek approval of provincial assembly . . PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

The federal and Sindh governments seem to be heading for a showdown with the provincial chief executive hinting at withdrawing policing powers from the paramilitary Rangers force, which has been deployed in Karachi since the 90s.

On Tuesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah claimed that under the 18th constitutional amendment, the provincial government was bound to seek the legislative assembly’s approval before allowing Rangers to continue working under extended powers.

Read: Rangers raid: Babar smells plan to dislodge Sindh govt

The statement comes in the wake of recent raids by Rangers at offices of different provincial government departments that have upset the political stakeholders. Four months ago, the paramilitary force was given special powers to detain suspects for 90 days. The permission expires today (Wednesday).

“There is a bottleneck in giving them extension in special powers to deal with terrorism,” he said while talking to reporters after distributing compensation cheques among the families of the Safoora carnage victims.

CM Shah said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had taken all political forces into confidence before launching the Karachi operation. The crackdown was to be against people involved in terrorism, targeted killings, kidnapping for ransom and extortion, he said.

“The army chief took personal interest in starting a strong operation and that is why we have achieved encouraging results. Otherwise, Rangers had been already deployed in Karachi and all over the province,” he said.

Shah said that Rangers were called in by the Sindh government a long time ago and their deployment had been extended from time to time. “The services and sacrifices of Pakistan Rangers and Sindh police cannot be forgotten,” he replied to a question.

He added that constitutional experts and the government’s legal team had also recommended going to the assembly for seeking approval to extend the Rangers’ powers. “This time it has to be taken to the assembly at least two months before putting it on the agenda of the house,” he said.

Replying to a question, CM Shah said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had telephoned him personally. “I put all my reservations and apprehensions before him,” he added.

Read: Political parties demand answers on DG Rangers’ organised crime report

When contacted, the Rangers Sindh spokesman refused to comment on the chief minister’s statement.

MQM announces protests

Encouraged by the Sindh government’s stance, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain also announced staging sit-ins outside the CM House against the ‘atrocities’ of Rangers.

In his address to party office-bearers on Tuesday, the MQM leader called upon the chief minister and the parliamentarians to table a bill in the Sindh Assembly for sending Rangers back to the borders.

He lamented that neither the chief minister nor the judiciary had taken notice of the Rangers’ allegations. “If the courts were independent, then action against Rangers for arresting men illegally would have been taken,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Parvez
    Jul 8, 2015 - 10:28AM

    It hurts when the truth comes out. Most of the rich people are involved in corruption.Recommend

  • raider
    Jul 8, 2015 - 10:59AM

    governor raj is only the option left , next turn should be of PunjabRecommend

  • raider
    Jul 8, 2015 - 11:09AM

    “There is a bottleneck in giving them extension in special powers to deal with terrorism,”
    that bottleneck was not hindering since 90s the very working of ranger as policing power, because all was ok with their vested interests, now exposition of their corruption with even bigwigs of parties is the real bottleneckRecommend

  • Neutral
    Jul 8, 2015 - 11:21AM

    The looting elite is doing every thing to stop rangers. But i hope rangers and army have worked through these possible excuses . Recommend

  • abc
    Jul 8, 2015 - 11:49AM

    Yeah they should give free hand to the culprits and the situation of the city goes back to street fighting.Recommend

  • Liberal
    Jul 8, 2015 - 12:06PM

    We stand with Rangers Shah Sahab. The people of Karachi will protest against your decision if Rangers are withdrawn from the city. Recommend

  • devi
    Jul 8, 2015 - 12:14PM

    very unfortunate with sindh.. at one side is these corrupt wadera thughs and at other side are terrorist mafia.. May Allah have mercy on Sindh and its peopleRecommend

  • Salim
    Jul 8, 2015 - 1:27PM

    Qaim will make a deal with Rangers: don’t touch PPP men and we will let u stay in Sindh.Recommend

  • jehanzaib
    Jul 8, 2015 - 1:51PM

    I think shah sab is paving a way for Governor rule in Sindh.Recommend

  • Ammar
    Jul 8, 2015 - 2:00PM

    it is wise to send them back to the bordar and increase the capacity of police.Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jul 8, 2015 - 2:47PM

    Let the Rangers go back & ten see the condition of Sindh especially Karachi. Let them solve their own problem. Let Karachi become a killing field once again to the extent that people start to tear each & every one apart. Only then ” revolution ” will come & that will clean each & every one. Let the action of CM be a blessing in disguise. This is what we need NOW. Recommend

  • Kickass
    Jul 8, 2015 - 3:11PM

    Oye nobody asked you! Sit down.Recommend

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