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December 28, 2015

PPP to adopt political option on Rangers’ powers


December 28, 2015

Law experts say Centre extended Rangers powers under Section 4 of ATA 1997 under
which Sindh govt had sought deployment of force

KARACHI: The Sindh government does not have the option to move court against the federal government’s notification giving special powers to Rangers, it has transpired after discussion of legal experts with the Sindh government.

On the basis of this discussion, the Sindh government has decided to avail itself of the political option on the issue. Sources say legal experts have advised the Sindh government against moving court, as it has less chances of getting relief.

They say the federal government has extended the special powers of Rangers under Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 which is the same law citing which the Sindh government had sought deployment of the paramilitary force in the province.

The law experts have made it clear that Section 4 of the ATA grants Rangers the powers of the police. They have also discussed if the federal government can issue the notification on its own or not.

Some of them were of the view that instead of the provincial government, the federal government could issue a notification granting request of the province on the question of powers of Rangers.

The law experts were of the view that the Supreme Court was the forum to hear this case of conflict between two governments and if it rejects Sindh’s stance, the provincial government will have no other forum to access.

The sources said Farooq H Naek had also advised former President Asif Zardari against moving court during their meeting in Dubai and the party’s Central Executive Committee that met in Naudero Sunday decided not to move court on this matter.

The sources said the PPP will raise the issue of provincial autonomy and criticise Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif instead of coming down hard on the army or the Rangers. They said the party wanted “face saving” so that it was not target of the Rangers operation.

They said Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah was going to talk to the PM on the issue of Rangers during his visit to Karachi today (Monday). Zardari will also phone Nawaz but the party leadership knows that Nawaz cannot give them relief.

The party will map out its strategy after Nawaz’s visit and can adopt a tough stance in and outside of the Sindh Assembly. 

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