WEB DESK: Rejecting the Sindh government summary that had stipulated conditional special powers to Rangers, the federal government on Tuesday approved an unconditional extension of exclusive policing power to paramilitary force for 60 days.
Sources said the federal government rejected the Sindh government’s summary and wrote a letter to Pakistan People’s Party-led provincial government that the Rangers have been given powers under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), which is a federal law.
— 60-day extension in Rangers’ policing powers approved by Interior Ministry
The federal government has adopted the stance that the Rangers have been given powers under the ATA and curtailing Rangers powers will be a violation of law. They said that the decision to reject the Sindh government’s summary was taken at a meeting presided over by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at the Punjab House. The meeting was also attended by the senior officials of the Interior Ministry.
They told Business Recorder that the Interior Minster earlier held a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the Sindh government’s summary in detail. Sources further stated that the Ministry of Interior also held consultations over the summary with the legal team and it was decided to reject the summary which entailed curtailed jurisdiction of Rangers.
The Sindh government, following the approval of Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah, had sent the summary about extension of Rangers special policing powers for 60 days to Ministry of Interior for a final notification. According to the resolution passed by the Sindh assembly, the Rangers will be able to take action against terrorism, sectarian murderers, targeted killings and incidents of extortion and kidnapping for ransom.
However, the resolution has curbed the powers of Rangers as it does not allow the paramilitary force to conduct raids on government offices; it has also stopped them from carrying out interrogation of the government officials. The Rangers will have to seek special permission from the Sindh Chief Minister in order to conduct such actions. Special powers given to the Rangers under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATC) had expired on December 5.