ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to resolve the issue of curtailment in the powers of Rangers’ with Pakistan People’s Party leadership through negotiations for which some senior party leaders from both sides are in contact to strike some common ground.
Sources in ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz informed The Nation that senior party leaders were optimistic about amicable settlement of the issue in next few days through an executive order from Sindh chief minister to remove all the ambiguities regarding curtailment of powers of Rangers to deal with terrorists in Karachi and get their policing and interrogation powers restored.
The prime minister has restrained all his cabinet members from giving provocative statements against the Sindh government or criticism on the curtailment of Rangers powers as his close aides are in contact with senior PPP leaders both within the country and ‘abroad’ to resolve the issue, a senior party leader informed The Nation.
On the other hand the PM had also taken a briefing from his legal team on the Sindh Assembly resolution, restricting Rangers operation to deal with target killing extortion, kidnapping for ransom, sectarian killing and related matters.
The legal team was of the view the Sindh government could not restrict the Rangers operation in the province as the paramilitary force after its deployment will be driving strength from the federal laws, under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and National Action Plan, and not the provincial laws; so, the resolution will have little bearing on the Rangers operation.
But there was another legal view of some experts that the provincial assembly resolution will be binding on the Rangers and they cannot exceed the limits defined in it.
The resolution granted Rangers powers to operate in following areas: target killing, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killing and its related matters.
Sources said PPP was under tremendous pressure from various quarters on the issue, so the party leadership was of the view that the matter should be resolved by extending the powers of Rangers through an executive order to be issued by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in a next couple of days.
The belated extension to Rangers stay with a number of checks and restrictions was granted by the Sindh Assembly through a resolution a few days back placing the Chief Executive of the province in a commanding position barring Rangers to put its hands on persons not directly involved in terrorism and are suspected of aiding and abetting terrorists or by way of terror financing or facilitating terrorists.