ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday wrote a letter to the Sindh Chief Minister asking him for extending special powers of Rangers, a civil armed force, in the province.

"Unnecessary delay in extension of power to Rangers in Sindh would not only disrupt operation against terrorists but also put negative impact on the performance of the civil armed forces", he said in the letter.

The letter also said that 'it was the common responsibility of both Federal and provincial governments to remove hurdles and complete process that started after mutual consensus'.

The extension of Rangers powers in Sindh has remained a bone of contention between the federal and the Sindh governments for past some months, as the latter wanted that paramilitary force should stay in the province with some limited powers.

The Interior Minister had to write the letter because the policing powers of Pakistan Rangers in Sindh would expire soon and the Sindh government has not forwarded any summary requesting the Federal government to extend powers of the paramilitary force in the province.

The powers of Rangers in Sindh had been extended last time for another 77 days.

Ch. Nisar in the letter said that Pakistan Rangers had played a vital role for improvement of law and order situation and restoration of routine life in Sindh, especially in Karachi.

"Chief Minister Sindh should use his own authority to extend Rangers powers in Sindh," he said.

The deployment of Rangers in Karachi is requisitioned under Article 147 of the Constitution and Section 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.  The law authorises the civil armed force e to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, or scheduled offences in notified area for the punishment of terrorist in accordance with the provision of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

Rangers is currently leading an 'operation' against criminal elements in Karachi, which was initiated back in September 2013 after the Federal Cabinet empowered the force to lead a targeted operation with the support of police against criminals, targeted killers, kidnappers, extortion mafia and terrorists in Karachi.

In a related development, Director General Rangers Sindh Major General Bilal Akbar telephoned the Interior Minister and discussed the delay in issuance of notification for extension in Rangers special powers.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in his telephonic conversation lauded Pakistan Rangers for its efforts in improving law and order situation in Karachi without fearing their lives.

He stressed that the hard work of Rangers personnel for attaining peace in Karachi would not go waste.

In a statement issued here, he said that the decision for deployment of Rangers in Sindh and Karachi operation was taken after consultation with all stakeholders including Federal and provincial governments and also as per clear directions of superior court.

Chaudhry Nisar said that the Federal govt would continue playing its legal and Constitutional role regarding extension of Ranger powers in Sindh province.