HYDERABAD/ KARACHI: Sindh's nationalist parties have put their weight behind the ongoing action against corruption in the provincial government and the operation being conducted by the Rangers.
"Corruption, militancy and terrorism violate the people's fundamental rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution," asserted Ayaz Latif Palijo, the president of the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT), at a press conference on Friday night.
He argued that the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) provincial government could not curtail the powers of the Rangers or ask the force to leave the province. Palijo supported his statements by referring to the implementation of the National Action Plan, the apex committee's role in Sindh and the 2011 Supreme Court's ruling in which the Rangers and police were ordered to take action against organised crime and terrorism.
"The PPP's leaders have wonderful questions about domain [for actions] and the Constitution when it comes to the Rangers. Would they like to tell everyone under which article of the constitution Owais Tappi and Faryal Talpur have been running the provincial government?" he asked.
The QAT leader announced that his party will carry out a movement against corruption and militancy from July 3 to August 1, with the party's activists holding rallies in the big cities of the province. The QAT also plans to stage protests outside the offices of the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency to press the officials to take action against corruption, he said.
"Corruption, crime, target killing and terrorism are tools. The PPP, MQM [Muttahida Qaumi Movement], TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] and the terrorists are one element against the Pak-China corridor project," Palijo alleged.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Taraqi Pasand (STP) party also supported the continuation of the Rangers action. "When the Rangers began to squeeze the necks of the corrupt, the thieves and the terrorists, the provincial government's rulers began to turn against the force," said a statement issued by the party. The party's leaders urged the law enforcement agencies to relentlessly continue their drive against such elements. "They [corrupt and militant elements] should be nabbed, exposed before the people, punished and put behind bars," the party demanded.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Karachi chapter also demanded the extension of the Rangers' policing powers throughout the province. PTI Karachi president Ali Zaidi, in a press statement, demanded that the special policing powers of the Rangers be extended throughout Sindh, instead of just being limited to Karachi. "Does the chief minister want us to believe that the rest of Sindh is crime free and the police in rural Sindh are competent?"
Speaking to the media on Sunday, spiritual leader of the Hur and chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Pir Pagara said that the Rangers were important for Karachi and there would be bloodshed if they left the provincial capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.