- PPP says Rangers’ job is to counter terrorism in notified areas not take over govt’s job to check building codes violation, issues in governance
- Babar says plan seems afoot to dislodge Sindh govt, allowing security dominated apex committee and Rangers take over
“The government would have dislodged the Sindh government when there were daily target killings,” State Interior Minister Baligur Rehman told the Senate on Wednesday, assuring the senators that the government has no such plans.
Rehman was responding to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s call-attention notice over the raid conducted by Sindh Rangers on Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA).
The notice, moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, said that the Rangers’ raid on KBCA and other offices on Monday amounted to “taking over” the functions of the provincial government. It questioned the motives of the paramilitary force behind its “overzealous, illegal drive”.
The PPP senator said that the Rangers had been requisitioned in Karachi under Article 147 of the Constitution and under Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), specifically to prevent the commission of terrorist acts and other scheduled offences in notified areas.
“Issues in corruption and governance must be addressed resolutely without fear or favour through legal institutions such as National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Public Accounts Committee (PAC), anti-corruption departments and courts, not by resorting to illegality,” he said.
Babar said under its mandate duly notified, Rangers have no business to take cognisance of offences such as violation of building codes, developmental projects and issues in governance, as these were neither acts of terrorism nor included in the scheduled offences.
“It also needs to be investigated as to whether there was a method in what appears to be madness,” he said.
The PPP leader claimed that the raids by masked Rangers personnel on government offices and an earlier public rebuke of the political setup by the corps commander indicated a “pattern and a method”.
“A plan seems afoot to dislodge the provincial government and let the security dominated apex committee and Rangers take over its functions. Everyone salutes the sacrifices of Rangers’ jawans, but it could not be permitted to do politics using sacrifices of jawans as the basis,” he said.