The issue of extension of Rangers power in Sindh has been in debate for the past many days. After much politics on the issue on Wednesday the Sindh Assembly finally passed a resolution regarding the issue. However, the Sindh Assembly’s resolution asked for checks and conditions on Rangers special powers to raid and arrest suspects. The resolution regarding Rangers powers that was approved by the House faced strong criticism from the opposition members who claimed that the government wanted to seriously curtail the paramilitary force’s powers just to save certain political figures. The resolution passed in the Sindh Assembly states that Rangers will only have powers with respect to four things; target killings, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killings. The delay and the subsequent resolution aimed at curtailing the powers of Rangers has been attributed to the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and close aide to former President Asif Ali Zardari, the former deferral minister was later handed over to Rangers’ for a period of 90-days. Allegations on former President Zardari’s close aide ranged from massive corruption to facilitating terrorists. There is also perception that by limiting the power of Rangers’ the Sindh Assembly and the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership not only wants to protect Dr Asim but also restrict the action of paramilitary forces against the militant wings of political parties in Karachi. Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had strongly criticized the Sindh government for delaying the matter ‘just to save one person’. Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar who visited Pakistan Rangers Sindh Headquarters yesterday said that Rangers are the backbone of the operation in Karachi and uncertainty regarding them gives leverage to criminal elements.
The special policing power given to Rangers was the main reason that peace returned to Karachi.