Pakistan News

Karachi corps commander meets Sindh chief minister

Karachi corps commander meets Sindh chief minister

KARACHI: Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar called on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House on Thursday.

They first held a one-to-one meeting and later the chief minister was joined by Senior Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial.

Although there was no official word about the outcome of the meeting, analysts are of the view that it took place against the backdrop of delay in extending the stay of Rangers in Sindh and its policing powers.

Also read: CM lodges protest with corps commander over Dr Asim’s arrest

Last time the chief minister had extended the stay of Rangers for one year and also allowed them to use policing powers under the Anti-Terrorism Act. But now the matter has been referred to the Sindh Assembly because it is mandatory to get the extension ratified by it under the 18th Amendment.

Sindh Senior Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro had told newsmen on Wednesday that the Rangers’ assignment was to eliminate incidents of target killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom but other actions taken by the paramilitary force required prior permission from the chief minister under Article 147 of the Constitution.

He said Rangers were called out in July to assist police in maintaining law and order, but without taking the approval of the provincial assembly. Now the permission to call out Rangers would be taken first and then a resolution would be tabled in the house for increasing its policing powers and lawmakers would be free to express their views on the issue.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has said “we have concerns over actions being taken by Rangers against politicians during the operation”.

According to analysts, the issue became controversial after the arrest of PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain, who is close to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2015

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