ISLAMABAD: The issue of extension of special powers for Rangers in Sindh echoed in the National Assembly on Wednesday as MQM and PTI lawmakers called for extending the special powers of the paramilitary force to the whole province, while PPP legislators termed it against Article 147 of the Constitution.
Speaking on a point of order, Parliamentary leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Syed Naveed Qamar said the Sindh government had extended Rangers’ powers under Article 147 of the Constitution.
He alleged that despite the extension in Rangers’ powers for one year, a press release was issued to media that the Interior ministry had not accepted the summary of Sindh government in this regard.
“Such acts would weaken the federation,” Qamar viewed and asked the federal government to clarify the matter.
MQM lawmaker Asif Hasnain said MQM was the first party which called for deployment of Rangers in the province to restore peace.
Instead of deploying it in Karachi only the Rangers’ powers, he said, should be extended to the whole province for achieving long lasting peace.
Dr. Arif Alvi of PTI said law and order situation in Karachi had considerably improved following the deployment of Rangers. “There was sharp decrease in incidents of target killing, extortion, China cutting and kidnapping for ransom,” he maintained.
Around 5,000 people used to become victims of target killing every year before Rangers deployment in the city, said the PTI lawmaker.
Alvi requested that the Rangers’ powers should be extended to the whole province till complete de-politicising of the Sindh police.
He, however, supported the viewpoint of Naveed Qamar that the federal government had no authority to deploy Rangers without the consent of the provincial government.
PPP’s Nawab Yousaf Talpur alleged that the federation was trying to replicate the One Unit like situation, which was created by Ayub Khan and Sikandar Mirza.
“The provinces are now empowered under the 18th Constitutional Amendment to take such decisions. Confusion, if any, should be sorted out through talks,” he added.
Mehmood Khan Achakzai of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party said the people had the right to rule their provinces and there should be no interference in their matters for supremacy of the Parliament and the Constitution.
He said the Supreme Court could only interpret the Constitution.
The issue of special powers given to Ringers has for long remained a bone of contention between the federation and Sindh government, for the latter sees it as a threat to its rule in the province. -APP