ISLAMABAD: The federal government extended on Monday Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi for another 77 days.
“Pursuant to the request made by the Home Department, Government of Sindh, dated May 3, 2016, and in continuation of this Ministry’s Notification No 9/1/95-R (Sindh) dated Feb 3, 2016, the powers conferred upon Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) in Karachi Division, under clause (1) of sub-section-3 of section-4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 (XXVII of 1997), are extended for another period of 77 days with effect from May 4, 2016,” reads a notification issued by the interior ministry.
The controversy over the extension of Rangers’ policing powers had cropped up last year when the PPP-led Sindh government got a resolution passed in the provincial assembly to curtail their powers and moved a summary for conditionally extending their tenure in December last year.
The summary had been rejected by the centre which asked the Sindh government to move a new summary. The special policing powers of Rangers had been without a legal cover for weeks after the expiry of their term in the first week of December until a unilateral notification was issued by the federal government extending the powers till February.
In February, things moved smoothly and a summary was received by the centre from Sindh.
This time as well, the Sindh government has sent a summary to the federal government for the extension of Rangers’ policing powers.
The deployment of Rangers in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of the Constitution and under Clause 1 of Sub-section 3 of Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, authorising the paramilitary force to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, or scheduled offences, in the notified area for the punishment of terrorists in accordance with the provision of the Anti-Terrorism Act.