KARACHI - The Sindh government seems to be at crossroads with the Rangers over extension of the paramilitary powers which expired at 12:00 midnight Tuesday night.

A summary for the extension of their stay in Karachi and extension of their special powers, gathers dust at the Chief Minister House as the Sindh government looks the other way. The summary proposes that the Rangers should be allowed to extend their stay in the city for another year. It also suggests that their special powers which allow them to detain suspects without a warrant be extended for another month.

Powers of the paramilitary to detain an individual for up to 90 days lapsed on June 15. The Protection for Pakistan Ordinance which allowed the paramilitary to arrest suspects without a warrant lapsed on July 15.

Last week, DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar had announced that the paramilitary will extend the Karachi operation to other parts of Sindh - a decision which did not go well with the Sindh government. Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday said that Rangers have been given special policing powers only in Karachi, not in rest of the province.

"The paramilitary force has no special powers in rest of the province," the Sindh CM said, speaking at a press conference in Larkana. Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Zardari has called Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Interior Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal to Dubai for further discussion, sources said.

Since the extension of the Rangers stay in Karachi has been delayed by the Sindh government, the paramilitary force has suspended all its operations to arrest the criminals identified by those already in custody.

Sources said that a tug of war erupted after accused Asad Kharal was freed from the custody of the Rangers by Larkana Police and influential, which led a new rift between Sindh government and paramilitary agencies as well as Sindh Home Minister Sohail Siyal. The Sindh CM visited the house of Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal after personal meeting with him and presided over a meeting at Commissioner Office Larkana. He also congratulated Sindh High Court CJ Justice Syed Sajad Ali Shah for recovery of his son by the Pakistan Army.

Sindh chief minister said that PPP Central Executive Committee consultation is underway extending the term of Rangers for law and order situation in province. He categorically denied about any clash between Sindh government and law enforcement agencies and said that Sindh Police is carrying out operations against the criminals in province, while in Karachi, the Rangers and police are conducting joint operations.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan urged Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to exercise his powers to resolve the issue of extension in the mandate of Rangers in Sindh. In a letter to the chief minister, he pointed out that Rangers played a key role in maintaining law and order in Sindh especially in Karachi and restored normalcy. He regretted that Sindh government has been adopting delaying tactics every time on the issue of extension of mandate of Rangers in the province.

Nisar said delay in providing legal cover to the actions of Rangers in Sindh would impact upon the on-going operation. He said it is joint responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to remove bottlenecks in the way of taking the operation to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, Director General Pakistan Rangers Sindh Major General Bilal Akbar contacted Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and discussed with him delay in issuance of notification regarding extension in Rangers powers in Sindh.

On this occasion, the minister said that Rangers’ personnel improved the law and order situation in Karachi without caring for their lives and their efforts would not be allowed to go in vain. He said the decision to deploy Rangers in Sindh and Karachi operation were taken after the consultation and consensus of all stakeholders.