Rangers policing powers: Sindh opposition leaders meet today for joint front
According to ARY News, former home minister of Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza, Jam Madad Ali, Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Liaquat Jatoi meeting today to form a joint front against the provincial government of People’s Party with focus over the issue of delegating special policing powers to Rangers in the province.
The issue of extension in police powers to Rangers has become a bone of contention between an increasing unpopular provincial government and the paramilitary agency that has claimed credit for improved law and order in Karachi after it initiated crackdown against terrorists, gangsters and other criminals in the city since September 2013.
The PPP government in Sindh has demonstrated increasing reluctance in extension of the policing powers of Rangers and Sindh Assembly has recently passed a resolution attaching conditions for the special powers to the paramilitary agency.
The resolution attached following conditions for the Rangers to stay in Karachi in aid of civil administration and police for the next 12 months.
According to the resolution Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) will have powers to act against target killers, extortionists, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killings.
Any person who is not directly involved in terrorism and is only suspected of aiding and abetting terrorists or by way of terror financing or facilitating terrorists shall not be placed in preventive detention under any law without prior written approval of the Government of Sindh or the Chief Minister, the resolution said.
The assembly resolution also said that Rangers shall not raid any office of the provincial government or any other government authority without prior written approval of the Chief Secretary of Sindh.
The opposition parties in Sindh Assembly have rejected the resoution and meeting today to form a joint front against the government over the issue.
Karachi’s traders and other stakeholders in the peace protesting against the government’s attitude calling it a step to deteriorate law and order in Karachi.
According to reports, the military and the political leadership in the centre has expressed concern over the Sindh government’s conditions with regard to the special powers to Raners. A recently held meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif among others decided to communicate the concerns with regard to the provincial government’s stance over the issue.
According to sources, the federal government considering on three options to decide the issue and the federal interior minister will likely to issue a statement over the matter today.