WEB DESK: The ruling PPP on Wednesday confined Rangers’ powers to operations ‘only’ against target and sectarian killers, extortionists and kidnappers for ransom amid opposition’s protest and walkout during the Sindh Assembly session.
The treasury introduced an out-of-turn but a long-awaited government resolution to ratify Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) powers in line with the Article 147 of the Constitution, linking the paramilitary personnel raids at government offices to the prior ‘written’ approval of the Chief Secretary Sindh.
“That Pakistan Rangers [Sindh] shall not raid any office of Government of Sindh or any other Government Authority without prior written approval of the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh,” the resolution, which was passed with a majority vote amid opposition’s noisy protest, stated.
Now the Rangers will not have powers to detain suspects found in abetting or financing terrorists. The law enforcers will now be required to produce convincing evidence to seek permission from the Chief Minister Sindh with the provision of evidence before taking actions against terror suspects.
“That any person, who is not directly involved in terrorism and is only suspected of aiding and abetting terrorists or by way of terror financing terrorists shall not be placed under preventive detention under any law without prior written approval of the Government of Sindh, ie, Chief Minister Sindh,” the resolution said.
It added: “it is clarified that in case a person is suspected of the above, cogent reasons with complete evidence justifying such preventive detention shall be provided to Government of Sindh, which shall [be] based on the available evidence, approve or reject such proposal of preventive detention.”
Similarly, the Rangers will not assist any other institution or organisation like NAB or FIA except the Sindh police. “That Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) shall not assist any other institution/organisation apart from Sindh Police in carrying out its actions as stated in Clause 1 above,” the resolution says.
The Rangers will carry out its actions only against target and sectarian killers, extortionists and kidnappers for ransoms. “That Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) will have powers in respect of the following only: Target killing, extortion/bhatta, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian killing,” Sindh Home Minister, Anwar Siyal read out the resolution to the house without citing the assembly’s rules.
The opposition lawmakers failed to discern the treasury move that took everyone by surprise since the resolution was presented out of turn. It was originally placed at 11th of assembly’s daily business agenda. All the opposition parties including MQM, PTI, PML-F and PML-N rushed to the Speaker’s rostrum and tore down the copies of assembly agenda amid vociferous slogans.
As soon as Siyal finished reading out, the Speaker, Agha Siraj Khan Durrani put the resolution to the house, which received a majority vote from the ruling PPP lawmakers. The opposition staged a brief protest walkout and returned to the house shortly, chanting ‘no corruption no’.
The resolution, however, did not bear the name and signature of the mover. Carrying an initial, it was forwarded to the Speaker. The resolution says: “Whereas the Government of Sindh has entrusted certain functions to Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) to act in aid of civil administration and police.
“And Whereas the Proviso of Article of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan makes it mandatory for all such decisions of the Government of Sindh to be ratified by the Provincial Assembly within sixty  days”.
It adds that “Now therefore the decision of Sindh Government dated 16.07.2015 bearing No SO (LE-I) /6-66/2015 regarding deployment of Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) for a period of twelve (12) months in aid of police and civil administration for maintenance of law and order is hereby ratified, subject to the following conditions: That Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) will have powers in respect of the following only: Targeted Killing, Extortion/Bhatta, Kidnapping for Ransom and Sectarian Killing”.