Rangers’ actions


Fully justified



In the backdrop of the report of DG Rangers about the money that is illegally raised in Karachi to finance crimes and acts of terrorism, the Rangers in addition to targeting criminals, extortionists and terrorists have also started to tighten the noose around the corruption mafia comprising politicians and bureaucrats. Now both the MQM and PPP are feeling the heat and crying hoarse from every convenient rooftop to rub in the notion of victimisation to thwart the efforts of the Rangers to unmask the faces behind the heinous crimes and land grabbing. It is perhaps in the background of these developments that the federal government reportedly banned the exit of many ministers, ex-ministers, MPs and scores of bureaucrats from the country by placing them on the watch list at all exit points of the country, without putting their names on ECL. The list includes seven provincial minister of Sindh, four former ministers, 20 MPAs, 8 MNAs of PPP and 100 officers of the Sindh government.

Zardari’s outburst against the Khakis can be better understood in the backdrop of the foregoing developments. Whatever he said were the convulsions of a besieged man desperate to wriggle out of the precarious situation. The ploy backfired and consequently the PPP had perforce to blink first. The reality is that the Rangers are not only confining their operation clean up only to the criminals and mafias having connections to MQM and PPP, they are also trying to rope in criminals belonging to other political and religious outfits. The raids on a few seminaries in Sukkur and headquarters of Sunni Tehrik in Karachi amply testify to this reality and strongly repudiate the notion of any kind of witch hunt. My hunch is that this time the action is for real and it would be taken to its logical end to cleanse Karachi of the criminal elements and the terrorists and restoring normalcy in the industrial capital of Pakistan.

The government and the Army deserve unqualified accolades for showing the courage and commitment to launch a decisive battle against terrorists throughout the country and the criminals in Karachi. This has certainly produced very positive and encouraging results. Needless to emphasise that the targeted operation in Karachi was launched with the backing of all the political parties and the role assigned to the Rangers also had consensus of all the parties. Ever since the targeted operation started in Karachi, I have been in my columns emphasising the fact that although publicly these parties have agreed to support the targeted operation under the public pressure, they would ultimately try to sabotage it when the crunch time comes. That is exactly what is happening now.

It is an irrefutable reality that the militant wings of both PPP and MQM have been involved in the land grabbing, target killings, extortions and tit for tat killings in a turf war. According to DG Rangers Rs230 billion annually are raised through criminal activities and corruption to support and finance the militant wings of the parties and acts of terrorism. The money filched through land grabbing and China cutting, probably is much more than collected from other crimes.

Zardari and Sindh government have maintained that the action of Rangers to arrest government officials on charges of corruption is tantamount to trespassing into the domain of the civilian government and the Sindh Chief Minister even has written to DG Rangers and the Interior Minister complaining about the development. That may be a valid point but the fact remains that the provincial government failed to take action against the criminals and the land mafia despite clear cut decision of the Supreme Court and its direction to disband the militant wings of the political parties. The precarious and extraordinary situation in Karachi demanded extraordinary steps to stem the rot and resurrect peace and tranquility in the city.

There is a national consensus on the elimination of terrorism, religious extremism and restoring peace in Karachi. The action taken by the Rangers is absolutely justified in the given circumstances like the establishment of military courts to punish the terrorist outside the normal justice system in the interest of integrity and security of the country which takes precedence over all other considerations. Similarly the situation in Karachi was such that the ruling party and its coalition partner could not take action against themselves. There had to be a third force to do the required job in the national interest. If a referendum is held today I am sure overwhelming majority of the people would endorse the action being taken by the Rangers in Karachi. Similarly the entire nation supports the Army in its endeavours to eliminate terrorism and duly acknowledges the sacrifices rendered by our soldiers.

There are however people who argue that if the aim is to eliminate corruption and hold the corrupt accountable, then the accountability should be across the board including politicians, Generals, judges and all those who have taken this nation for a ride. As far as the argument goes no one can take an issue with it. Our system of governance has inbuilt avenues of corruption and over the more than six decades of its existence the culture of graft and entitlement has become well entrenched. Everybody including the ruling generals have contributed to the situation the country finds itself in at the moment. However a distinction has to be made between the generals and the institution of the Army. The Army as an institution is beyond any reproach. The generals who led military coups and pushed the country into a crucible of precipice certainly are not. But the obtaining reality is that it is not possible to put them through the process of accountability. For the present the focus will have to be on what is possible. May be when democracy becomes stronger and our politicians attain the high moral ground by abandoning the politics of self-aggrandisement, they could think of retrieving the territory lost to the Khakis. Our present reality is that Khakis are the only hope of winching the country out of the quagmire that it is stuck into.

There is almost a national consensus on one point that something really needs to be done on urgent basis to restore normalcy in Karachi and to make the land mafias and corrupt people to pay for their misdeed and face justice for taking the national exchequer for a ride or misusing their positions to support and endorse crimes and corruption.


  1. I fully agree with Mali k Muhammad Ashraf, author of above article as far his anatomy about the rampant corruption and other heinous crimes of looting the national wealth in trillions and the efforts being done by the Army / Rangers to eliminate corrupt elements and get back the looted wealth..If the army / Rangers become successful in getting looted wealth and stopping this practice from Sindh and elsewhere in Pakistan, for which we can only pray at the moment,, the country's. GNP and hence per capita income could be double and the country could be put on the path of progress and prosperity.

  2. I fully endorse Mr. Ashraf Malik's views. He is correct about Rangers' resolve to clear the city of Criminals, extortionists, murderers, mafias, and political thugs. Now it has expanded its operation to include action against land grabbers, corrupt bureaucrats and militants. The entire nation stands behind the Rangers.

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