KARACHI - Rangers once again raided MQM headquarters and made some arrests in wee hours of Friday, hours before Sindh government extended policing powers of the paramilitary force in the province for a year and made some major changes in the provincial bureaucracy to curb corruption.

Heavy contingents of Rangers reached at the MQM headquarters, Nine Zero, at around 2am and entered Khursheed Begum Secretariat. They arrested MQM Co-ordination Committee Pakistan incharge Kaif-ul Wara and a former Rabita Committee in-charge Qamar Mansoor.

Around a dozen other party office barriers were also arrested from different areas of the metropolis. A contingent arrested vocal MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi from his Gulshan-e-Iqbal house.

During Nine-Zero operation, which Rangers said was against hate mongers, they also searched various offices at the secretariat and seized official documents of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. They cordoned off all entry and exit points during operation and did not even allow media persons to enter the area.

Witnesses said that Rangers took some half dozen people into custody but let them free after questioning, except Kaif and Qamar. They completed their operation in an hour. Following the raid, a large number of MQM workers and leaders reached Nine Zero.

This was the second major raid carried out at MQM headquarters within four month. The previous one came on March 11 in which Rangers had apprehended over a 100 MQM members, including senior leader Amir Khan.

In a statement issued in the morning, Rangers spokesperson said they conducted a surgical action and arrested Qamar Mansoor and Kaif-ul Wara on charges of arranging and facilitating hate speeches. In those violence inciting speeches, officers and Jawans of Rangers were targeted, said the statement. "List of such facilitators has been finalised and more arrests will be made in near future."

Informed sources said that names of nearly two dozen more MQM leaders are on Rangers list, which includes big names like Farooq Satar, Waseem Akhtar, Saif Yar Khan,Aslam Mumtaz, Tayab Hashmi, Zameer ul Haq, Khalid Maqbol and Kazim Raza. Their names are also on the FIRs registered in different police stations for arranging hate speeches for their party's leader Altaf Hussain, and most of them reportedly have went underground.

As for the extension in Rangers stay, a CM spokesman said, beginning from July 20, the Rangers stay will end by July 19. Rangers’ deployment in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of constitution and under clause 1 of subsection 3 of Section 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The PPP-led Sindh government was earlier averse to extension, saying the force was acting beyond its mandated limits by conducting raids on government offices and arresting officials on excuse of fighting corruption and curb flow of black money to the militants.

It very unwillingly gave only a month’s extension to Rangers few days ago and conditioned it with approval from the legislative assembly. But in early hours of Friday, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah approved one-year extension in an apparent bid to ease the tension with e relations between his government and the paramilitary force.

The tension between Rangers and Sindh government was eased a bit after intervention of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari who directed the chief minister to ensure better working relationship with the paramilitary force.

In a related development, the Sindh government made changes in police, KMC and some other departments. It came after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari held a meeting wherein he had given assurance to the Karachi Corps Commander for action against corrupt officials. A meeting of provincial apex committee held few days ago also agreed over the action while Bilawal also got a nod for it from his father, Asif Zardari.

According to CM spokesperson, it was decided to transfer Karachi Additional IG Ghulam Qadir Thebo to the post of Anti-Corruption Establishment chairman. BPS-21 police officer Zakir Hussain - who has been replaced by Thebo- has been asked to report to Services and General Administration Department for new appointment. Mushtaq Mahar, who is serving as the head of Special Branch has been made AIG Karachi police.

Three government officials who had left Pakistan, Sindh Building Control Authority head Manzoor Qadir alias Kaka, KMC administrator Saqib Soomro and Cooperation Department Secretary Shazar Shamoon, and a fourth official - Rahim Soomro – have been removed from their posts, however, there was no word from the spokesman as to what action would be taken by the government against their irregularities.

It is also learnt that DCs of ten districts,, including Hyderabad, Sanghar, Dadu, Mirpurkhas and Sujawal, were also removed from their posts while Mumtaz Shah was given charge of Senior Member Sindh Board of Revenue.