Just two days after the Sindh cabinet rejected the federal government’s decision to extend the Sindh Rangers’ policing powers, the government issued a notification providing legal cover to paramilitary force to exercise policing powers in Karachi for another two months.
The notification comes amidst reports that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Karachi to discuss the issue with the Sindh chief minister.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Sindh cabinet rejected the Federal Interior Ministry’s decision to unilaterally extend Rangers’ powers after the latter turned down a summary of the provincial government adopted in light of Sindh Assembly’s resolution to limit the force.
The federal government on Friday issued a notification under Article 147 of the constitution, providing legal cover to the paramilitary force to exercise policing powers under Clause 4 of Anti Terrorism Act 1997.
The Sindh Assembly adopted a resolution on December 16 to limit the Rangers’ sphere of action to cases of targeted killing, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killing.
The force was restrained from placing in preventive custody any person not directly involved in terrorism, for which it was to seek a written approval from the chief minister.
On Wednesday, however, the Sindh cabinet termed the federal government’s move to extend the Rangers’ powers ‘unconstitutional’. It said the move was aimed at ‘degrading’ the assembly’s resolution and encroaching upon the provincial administration’s powers.
In its response to the Sindh government, the federal government stated that provincial governments could be given orders by federal executive authority for security reasons.
According to the federal government’s letter, it has several other options to have the constitution implemented.
“The Sindh government should take into account Article 147 and 149 in addition to the Article 147. Articles 147 and 149 are better suited in the current situation regarding Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi,” it stated.
The federation has stated that Article 148 holds the federal government responsible to protect province from internal and external threats. Article 149 states that a province could use its executive authority if it does not hinder federation’s authority.
ZARDARI SUMMONS MEETING IN DUBAI:
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday called the party’s legal wizard, Farooq H Naik to Dubai to review legal options after Rangers’ powers were restored unconditionally in Sindh.