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Wednesday Apr 19, 2017

Rangers object to notification issued by Sindh government

KARACHI: The Pakistan Rangers objected to a notification issued by the Sindh government, which stated that the paramilitary force is deployed under Article 147 to assist the civil administration.

"The notification gives off the impression that the Rangers will operate like the police although Article 147 clearly states the opposite," a Rangers spokesperson said.

According to the notification, as per the Article 147, the paramilitary force is responsible for the security of the CM house, Governor house, courts, assembly, oil refinery, airport, and all important installations.

The notification further states that the security of educational institutions including universities and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also falls under the Rangers' domain. 

Read more: Rangers withdrawn from deployments in Sindh following expiry of special powers

"The Rangers were granted these powers on August 1, 2016," the notification said. “According to the August 2016 notification, the paramilitary force has the authority of patrolling, picket, and providing backup support to police personnel.”

Pakistan Rangers personnel deployed in all areas including sensitive points across Sindh were summoned back to the headquarters following the expiry of their special policing powers in the province on April 14.

Patrolling, snap checking, and raids conducted by the paramilitary force were discontinued on Friday. However, Rangers continue to provide security to the governor, chief minister, judges, airports, and sensitive installations.

‘Presence of Rangers crucial for Karachi’s peace and security,’ Governor Sindh

Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair on Monday said that the presence of Rangers is crucial for the peace and security of the metropolis.

The Governor Sindh visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and spoke to media as well

He said that it would be a bad move to call back Rangers, vowing that the city’s peace would not go to waste.

The Governor Sindh added that the federal government is firm on its stance that Rangers must continue to work in the city. 

Read more: Rangers' special powers end in Karachi

Presiding over a Sindh cabinet meeting at Bilawal House Karachi on Saturday, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari discussed the extension of powers of Sindh Rangers among other matters. 

'Delay in extension not that big an issue,' PPP Senator Saeed Ghani

"I don’t understand why it [extension] is turned into an issue each time the extension is delayed,” Pakistan People’s Party Senator Saeed Ghani said while talking to the media about the extension of Rangers’ special policing powers in the province Sunday. "The delay in the extension of their [Rangers’] powers is not that big an issue.” 

The paramilitary force was granted certain special powers including arrests and raids when the Karachi operation started back in 2011, Ghani said in a statement to the media.   

Read more: Rangers foil massive terror bid in Karachi

“If they don’t have these special privileges for a few days, it doesn’t mean that they can’t continue their job,” the PPP leader said. “Their duties are not affected by the delay in extension, and they continue to perform them.” 

Official sources disclosed that a summary to grant an extension of powers to the paramilitary force was sent to the Chief Minister (CM) Sindh Murad Ali Shah by the Home Department Sindh on April 5; however, the approval remains pending to date.