KARACHI: The Sindh government on Friday extended the Rangers' stay in Karachi by one year starting from July 20.
According to sources, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has taken the decision on the directives of party co-chairman and former president of the country, Asif Ali Zardari.
The paramilitary force's tenure for assisting police and civil administration is due to expire on July 19.
The deployment of Rangers in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of the Constitution. The Rangers were given additional powers equivalent to those of the police to maintain law and order and control the menace of targeted killings in the city.
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Earlier in the month, the provincial government extended the policing powers of the paramilitary force for 30 days. Hours after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan assured Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah that the Rangers’ deployment was not about limiting the authority of anybody and would not be interference in provincial autonomy, the provincial government extended the policing powers of the paramilitary force for 30 days.
A notification to this effect was issued by the federal interior ministry. Earlier the provincial government used to issue such notifications. According to the spokesperson for the chief minister, endorsement for the Rangers’ policing powers would be sought from the provincial assembly. Four months ago, the paramilitary force was given special powers to detain suspects for 90 days. The permission expired on July 8.
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The decision was taken after Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari telephoned Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and directed him to issue a notification of extension in the Rangers’ deployment without any delay.
“In the present circumstances, the relation between the military and the civilian government is praiseworthy,” he said, adding that for the betterment of the country, there was a dire need to strengthen this relationship.
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