Rangers ‘backbone’ of operation against terrorism: Corps Commander

Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar visited Pakistan Rangers Sindh Headquarters on Friday where he said the paramilitary force’s role was the “backbone” of the operation against terrorism in the metropolis.

Addressing officers participating in the Karachi operation, Lt Gen Mukhtar said peace in Karachi was possible with the special powers assigned to Rangers.

“Uncertainty gives leverage to criminal elements,” the Corps Commander said, adding that Pakistan Rangers would continue to play an effective role to protect the people of Karachi from the menace of terrorism.

These comments come as the Sindh government passed a resolution on Wednesday, extending Rangers’ stay in the province but putting four conditions on its powers to raid, arrest and detain terrorism suspects.

The resolution, in which the word “terrorism” was replaced with “sectarian killing”, reads: “The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) will have powers in respect of only target killing; extortion/bhatta; kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killing.”

The second condition the resolution imposed on Rangers said that the paramilitary force could not place any person “who is not directly involved in terrorism and only suspected of aiding and abetting terrorists or by way of terror financing or facilitating terrorists” under preventive detention without prior approval of the chief minister.

Similarly, Rangers cannot raid any office of the Sindh government and its attached departments without prior written approval of the chief secretary.

In what appeared to be an attempt to cut off cooperation between federal authorities like the National Accountability Bureau or Federal Investigation Agency and Rangers, the resolution said the paramilitary force “shall not assist any other institution apart from Sindh Police” in carrying out its action against targeted killing, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killing. Source