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Extension of Rangers powers in Karachi for 90 days

Updated October 17, 2016

The Ministry of Interior on Monday issued a notification calling for a 90-day extension in the Ranger's operation in Karachi.

The notification was prepared at the request of the Government of Sindh.

The extension has been granted under clause 1, sub-section 3, of section 4 of the Anti-terrorism Act 1997(XXVII of 1997) and will take effect from the October 18.

In August, the Ministry of Interior notified the extension of Rangers’ special policing powers in Karachi for three months and their stay in Sindh for one year, with effect from July 20. This meant the policing powers of the paramilitary force in Karachi expired on Sept 18 and its deployment in Sindh on July 19 next year.

The centre did not assert itself to give the policing powers to Rangers in the whole of Sindh and has kept it confined only to Karachi as asked for by the Sindh government.

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".

At the meeting, Gen Sharif vowed to continue "across the board operations" at an increased pace and hunt down terrorists who commit heinous acts.

Military spokesman Asim Bajwa announced that the meeting had assessed ongoing operations against terrorists, and touched upon directing intelligence agencies to assist in the "exploitation of existing leads" in all operations.