KARACHI: The Sindh government on Friday has extended the Rangers stay by one year to help police and civil administration in Karachi, Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah’s spokesperson said.
The spokesman added that the paramilitary force’s tenure for helping the police and civil administration will expire on July 19 and Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah has further extended the stay for a year starting July 20.
The deployment of Pakistan Rangers Sindh in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of the Constitution and under clause 1 of subsection 3 of section 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, authorising Rangers to prevent the commission of terrorist acts and scheduled offences in notified areas.
Also read: Sindh govt extends Rangers stay in Karachi
While the Sindh government has been granting extension in the duration of Rangers’ policing powers via notifications from the home department every three months since 2010, this time around a standoff between the paramilitary force and the Sindh government had led the chief minister to mull other options.
Previously, Qaim Ali Shah stressed that following the passage of the 18th constitutional amendment, the matter of extension was to be decided by the provincial legislature, giving rise to uncertainty on what course of action, if any, will be taken to continue the paramilitary force’s operations in Sindh.
Recently, the provincial government had extended the Rangers’ stay in Karachi by one month. Sources in the Chief Minister’s House had told Dawn that Qaim Ali Shah had given the approval after a phone call from PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari from Dubai.
Former president Asif Zardari, in his phone call, had told the chief minister that better civil-military relations were in the larger interest of the nation and, therefore, was a need to strengthen them further.
He had recalled the restoration of law and order in Karachi after the launch of an operation by the paramilitary force. After the phone call, the chief minister went into a huddle with senior officials of the provincial government at 11.15pm.
Besides the home minister, the meeting was attended by the chief secretary, the home secretary and the principal secretary to the chief minister. After the consultations, a request was made to the federal interior ministry for an extension of the Rangers stay in Karachi by one month.