Sindh government & Rangers at crossroads over extension of powers in Karachi

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The Sindh government seems to be at crossroads with Rangers over extension of the paramilitary powers which expired at 12:00 today. A summary for the extension of their stay in Karachi and extension of their special powers, gathers dust at the Chief Minister House as the Sindh Government looks the other way. The summary proposes that Rangers should be allowed to extend their stay in the city for another year. It also suggests that their special powers which allow them to detain suspects without a warrant be extended for another month.

Powers of the paramilitary to detain an individual for up to 90 days lapsed on June 15. The Protection for Pakistan  Ordinance which allowed the paramilitary to arrest suspects without a warrant lapsed on July 15.

Last week DG Rangers General Bilal Akbar had announced that the paramilitary will extend the Karachi operation to other parts of Sindh– a decision which did not go well with the Sindh government.

Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday said that Rangers have been given special policing powers only in Karachi, not in rest of the province.

“The paramilitary force has no special powers in rest of the province,” the Sindh CM said, speaking at a press conference in Larkana.

“These powers were aimed at reducing four most heinous offences i.e. terrorism, target killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.”

He said that Pakistan Rangers Sindh were not given policing powers in Sindh during last three years, it was only limited to Karachi.

Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Zardari has called Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and interior minister Suhail Anwar Siyal to Dubai for further discussion.

The last time extension had been granted to stay of Rangers in Karachi was from July 20, 2015 till July 19, 2016. The federal govt had granted the extension in stay for another term on the request of the provincial government.

The services of the paramilitary force in the province are invoked by the provincial government for the maintenance of law and order and combating crimes under Article 147 of the Constitution.

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