Sindh CM warns Rangers against crossing limits

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A letter issued from the office of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday accused paramilitary Sindh Rangers of acting beyond their mandate and termed the paramilitary force’s current role as “unacceptable”.

In the letter addressed to DG Rangers, the Sindh CM House alleged that officials of the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and Lines Area Development Project were harassed and manhandled when Rangers reportedly raided their offices on Monday, June 15.

Citing the above-mentioned incident, the handout claimed that “Pakistan Rangers is acting beyond their authorities and mandate given to them by the Sindh Home Department”. “It is therefore advised to cease such unacceptable roles beyond the notified mandate, requiring you to limit your movement in accordance,” the letter reads.

The development comes only a day after PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari lashed out at the military establishment for overstepping its domain.

In an uncharacteristically aggressive speech, Zardari warned the military against “the character assassination of his party” saying that if they did not stop, he would expose the misdeeds of many generals.

The deployment of Pakistan Rangers Sindh in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of the Constitution and under Clause 1 of Subsection 3 of Section 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, authorising Rangers to prevent the commission of terrorist acts and scheduled offences in notified areas.

Rangers personnel in balaclavas on Monday had paid a ‘visit’ to the head office of the Sindh Building Control Authority, held a meeting with its chief and collected ‘relevant details’ about unlawful allotment of land and illegal construction on encroached areas in Karachi during the past decade.

A senior official, asking not to be named, said that most of the questions focused on illegal construction activities, alleged involvement of serving and former SBCA officials in such activities and what action had been taken against them.

“It was not a raid at all,” said the official. “No one from the SBCA was grilled or detained and no object was seized.” He replied in the affirmative when asked whether questions were related to ‘China-cutting’, illegal construction activities and land-mafia operations. The illegal carving out of smaller residential plots, less than 120 square yards, from a big amenity plot is called ‘China-cutting’.