- Federal Interior Ministry rejects Sindh govt’s summary limiting Rangers powers to Karachi only
- Sindh CM’s adviser says Rangers’ 90-day detention powers not applicable anymore
- Chandio says has failed to understand Chaudhry’s Nisar’s interpretation of Article 147
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the Centre and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led provincial government in Sindh on Tuesday dug in heels over special policing powers for the paramilitary Rangers across the province, as the Federal Interior Ministry rejected a summary approved by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah granting extension in Rangers’ stay in Karachi with special powers for 90 days.
According to sources in the Interior Ministry, legal experts of the ministry reviewed the summary and rejected it as “it did not meet legal standards”. They said that the approved summary had “legal and constitutional issues as it was not in accordance with Article 147 of the Constitution”.
Murad Ali Shah, in a bid to end the persisting tense relations and row between the provincial government and the Sindh Rangers, signed the summaries for extending the stay of Sindh Rangers in the province by one year and to extend the special policing powers of the paramilitary force in Karachi for 90 days.
The federal government, meanwhile, had expressed its resentment over the provincial government’s decision of not allowing Rangers’ policing powers to the whole of Sindh.
Criticising the Sindh government, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had earlier said that his ministry will consider other options if the Sindh government does not approve the paramilitary force’s policing powers for the whole province.
The paramilitary force has to have legal cover as they curb activities of criminals in the city,” he said, adding that so far 31 personnel of security forces have been killed in Karachi operation.
DETENTION POWERS NOT APPLICABLE NOW:
Commenting on the Interior Ministry’s rejection of the summary sent by the Sindh government, Adviser to Sindh CM for Law Murtaza Wahab said that special powers of Rangers to detain suspects for 90 days was not applicable anymore as it had ended on June 14, 2016.
Wahab said the federal government had got the bill to detain suspects for 90 days passed from parliament on June 14, 2014, for two years which ended on June 14, 2016. Under this bill, the paramilitary force had powers to get 90-day remand of the suspects, he said.
He went on to say that the parliament had yet to pass any other bill regarding the special powers of Rangers, adding that until the new bill is passed, Rangers do not have any powers to get remand of suspects for 90 days.
The adviser also clarified that special policing powers of the paramilitary force are limited to Karachi only.
Reacting to the development, Sindh CM’s Adviser for Information Maula Bux Chandio accused Interior Minister Nisar of leading the country towards politics of confrontation.
In a statement released from Dubai, Chandio said that he failed to understand Chaudhry Nisar’s interpretation of Article 147. He said that the Sindh government was not extending Rangers’ powers for the first time.
“Confrontation between the Sindh and the federal governments will take the current political tension to another level,” he warned.
Another PPP leader Senator Saeed Ghani asked Chaudhry Nisar not to act as “Viceroy of Sindh”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ghani said that the Sindh government has granted powers to Rangers according to the decisions of All Parties Conference and Sindh Assembly.
He said that the Sindh CM is answerable to the people of Sindh and elected Sindh Assembly, not to Chaudhry Nisar. “The provincial government and not the Interior Ministry is authorised to decide where Rangers should be deployed,” he added.