KARACHI - Sindh opposition parties on Saturday demand the Pakistan People’s Party-led Sindh government to expand operation of the paramilitary force Rangers to the whole province.

They asked the provincial ruling party to come up with right decision of giving powers to Rangers for their effective role in maintaining law and order instead of politicising the issue.

Talking to The Nation, Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that the MQM was not against the extension in Rangers powers instead it wanted the operation to be expanded to other parts of the province. “Why is Karachi being separated from other province? The criminal and terror activities similar to that of Karachi had occurred in other parts of the province then why the operation is not extended to these areas,” he said.

He said that the MQM had reservation regarding its activists’ extra-judicial killing or those who are still missing.

“It is responsibility of the state to find out their whereabouts as they are either being arrested or kidnapped,” he said.

He also said that the person accused of any criminal activity should not be judged as convicted unless allegations are proved against him. He also offered the law enforcement authorities to sit with the provincial lawmakers and discuss over the issue.

“We are ready to give them more powers through legislation as we had done in case of the Pakistan Protection Bill.” Speaking over extension of Rangers and reaction from both Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and the PPP leaders, PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi told The Nation, that it is the right of the PPP leaders top act or react to any statement but being an interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar had observed that it was the prime duty of the federal and provincial governments to safeguard lives, property of the people living in the province.

“Chaudhry Nisar had not given any extraordinary statement and only reminded them that law and order belongs to the province,” he said adding that Pakistan specially Karachi witnessed a massive improvement in law and order situation during last three years. He said that Rangers had given outstanding results and to further improve the situation, their extension was necessary. The PML-N leader further said that along with criminal activities, Rangers also had the mandate to take action against corruption leading to crime activities, misuse of power and excess of power.

Speaking over extension in Rangers powers to other parts of the province, Nehal Hashmi said that it is the discretion of the provincial government that wherever they feel they could deploy Rangers.

“If they feel that police are not able to control the situation of any area, then they could deploy Rangers in that area,” he said adding that they cannot dictate the provincial government as to where they had to deploy Rangers or not.

Situation has entered in danger zone and the PPP-led provincial government is pushing the province towards civil war, warned Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) Chief Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi while talking to the media men at Makhdoom House Karachi.

He said Karachi targeted operation was launched against the criminals and terrorists responsible for destroying the peace of city. The paramilitary force Rangers role for bring back peace to Karachi cannot be denied, Rangers controlled lawlessness while all the political forces and people regarded the Rangers actions. The delay tactics of provincial government in extending the powers of paramilitary force had put the situation on danger track, added the PML-F chief.

He said that his party supports the federal government policies regarding restoration of peace and action against terrorist elements. During the last five year massive corruption was carried out in province and it is a good sign that Pak Army and Rangers wanted to bring the looted money back to country`s exchequers. “We support continuation of Karachi targeted operation, and the Sindh government should give extension to the paramilitary force on immediate basis. Removal of Rangers from the Sindh would lead the province towards civil war,” added Pir Pagara.

Speaking to The Nation, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislator Khurram Sher Zaman said that the provincial government was intentionally delaying extension in Rangers powers. He said his party would resist it and would ensure that the provincial government extends the powers immediately. He said that the PPP was only doing this for a single person; however their tactics would not bear fruit as the people of the province were with the law enforcement authorities who had done a great job in maintaining peace in the city. He also demanded the provincial government to extend the Karachi operation to other parts of the province.

“When they admit that elements who were involved in terrorism had taken refuge in other parts of the province, then why they are hesitant to extend it to those areas,” he asked. He further said the PPP stance not to extend the parameter of the operation raises severe questions about their sincerity in curbing these elements.

It is pertinent to mention here that in 1989, the PPP’s federal government had called Rangers and Frontier Constabulary to control violence in Karachi while the present PPP provincial government gave more legal powers to Rangers that was already engaged in wide scale targeted operation in city launched in September 2013.

The Sindh government allowed Rangers under anti-terrorism (amendment) act to detain any suspect for 90 days in their custody; however the paramilitary force stay in province came under question when the Sindh government delayed the notification of extending special powers to Rangers.

Meanwhile, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani blatantly flayed Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Pervez Rasheed on their statements regarding extension in powers to Rangers.

He said that both the ministers have in fact endorsed the stance of the Sindh government that not only the law enforcement authorities under the administrative aegis of the federal government but also the federal government itself are conniving to oppress the provincial autonomy.

In his statement, Senator Ghani asked to explain whether carrying out operations by the federal institutions without informing in advance or attaining prior permission from the chief executive of the province is legal or illegal. He further questioned them if he could lawfully claim the actions while setting aside the mandate given to the federal authorities and acting in contrast to the mandate given by the provincial chief executive is justified.

Ghani asserted with full determination that the Sindh government is in favour of a decisive action against the terrorists but there is a dire need the actions should be within the ambit of given mandate under articles of the constitution. Any excess in supra-mandate resulting in unjust actions would leave scars on transparency of the ongoing targeted operation against the perpetrators, criminals and terrorists.