Pakistan

Deadline ends tonight, Sindh yet to extend Rangers policing powers

KARACHI: Special powers delegated to the Rangers by the government of Sindh to stay and continue counter terrorism operations in the province will end at Wednesday midnight as the government yet to take decision over the stay of the paramilitary force in Sindh.

The Rangers were delegated special powers under Section V of the anti-terrorism law with four months deadline, to conduct operation against four heinous crimes — terrorism, targeted killings, kidnapping for ransom and extortion. The paramilitary force was empowered to act against the criminals involved in these crimes including arrests, investigation, search operations etc.

The four-month deadline of the special powers being ended today at 12:00 in midnight but the government has yet to take decision for further extension. The provincial government since September 2015, has extended the mandate to the Rangers repeatedly five times under the SROs of the home department.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that under the 18th amendment to the Constitution, the Sindh government is bound to seek concurrence from the provincial Assembly before allowing the Rangers to continue its operation.

Provincial assembly has not been in session to extend special powers to the Rangers. The government seeking opinion from the legal experts to address the bottleneck. The government will likely to issue an ordinance to extend powers to the paramilitary force.

The government sources complaining that the Rangers acting beyond their delegated mandate. Recently, after the paramilitary force took action against some of those allegedly involved in financial crimes and land scams, the chief minister in a letter to the Rangers director-general had complained that the Rangers is acting beyond their authorities and mandate given to them by the Sindh home department.

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