Pakistan provincial assembly adopts resolution snipping Rangers’ powers

Islamabad, Dec 16 (IANS) A Pakistani provincial assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution, extending Rangers’ stay in the province but putting conditions on the paramilitary force’s special powers to raid and arrest suspects.

Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial on Wednesday presented in the Sindh assembly the resolution on the critical issue of Rangers’ powers amid chants and slogans by opposition members, Dawn reported.

The resolution, which was approved by the House, was criticised by opposition members who claimed that the paramilitary force’s powers had been seriously curtailed by the government.

Opposition parties tore their copies of the resolution and staged a walkout from the assembly to register their protest against the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government.

Earlier, the provincial government said it was not reluctant to extend special policing powers of Rangers in Karachi, but was just trying to fulfil the constitutional requirement by getting it approved through the Sindh Assembly.

Maula Bux Chandio, information adviser to the Sindh chief minister, said: “We value our assembly and will abide by it.”

Chandio said this while responding to the allegations levelled by Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, who accused the Sindh government of “maligning the federal government and Rangers”.

Nisar accued the Sindh government of trying to “detrack the Karachi operation to save just one man (Asim Hussain)”.

PPP leader Asim Hussain is presently in the custody of Sindh Rangers and the former petroleum minister will be handed over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for investigation of three fresh corruption cases.

The Sindh government in July also extended the Rangers’ stay by one year to help the police and civil administration in Karachi.

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