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December 8, 2015

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Sindh wavers as Centre, army want province-wide operation

Sindh wavers as Centre, army want province-wide operation

ISLAMABAD: The federal government as well as the military establishment on Monday pressed the Sindh chief minister to extend the powers of the Rangers from Karachi to the entire province for an effective operation against terrorists and criminals. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, however, was non-committal.
Sources, privy to the high-level discussions that took place during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Karachi, told The News that besides Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Karachi corps commander and the DG Rangers sought an immediate extension in Rangers’ operation to the entire province.
They wanted the consent of the Sindh chief minister but Syed Qaim Ali Shah remained non-committal. Sindh government sources said that there are few chances of the provincial government permitting the Rangers to extend the scope of its operation to the interior Sindh.
It was pointed out that because of the Karachi operation, the terrorists and criminal elements find an easy escape to interior Sindh and the bordering areas of Balochistan. The apex committee meeting was told that extending the Rangers’ role to the entire Sindh will help check terrorism and heinous crimes for durable peace.
The sources said that while the prime minister wanted the prosecution to play its role effectively for better conviction rate in terrorism cases, the army chief said that the ongoing operation was irreversible till the attainment of its goals.
The meeting was told that the conviction rate was hardly one percent, which was found disappointing by the prime minister and other key participants.While the Sindh government is expected to give an extension to Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi anytime, the interior minister asked both the Sindh government and the Rangers to discuss their irritants.
In the middle of the critically-important Karachi operation, Rangers are presently waiting for an extension in its policing powers. The Sindh chief minister has not so far approved the summary waiting to further extend the Rangers’ powers by at least four months. The previous extension period to these powers of Rangers lapsed only a few days back.
The Sindh government got annoyed at the Rangers following its recent months’ crackdown against the corrupt mafia having links with crime and terror. Dr Asim Hussain’s arrest by the Rangers further displeased the PPP leadership. However, because of the federal government and the military establishment’s decision not to compromise on the law and order situation in order to bring peace back to Karachi, the Sindh government has no option but to let the Rangers lead the Karachi operation.

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