KARACHI: The Sindh Cabinet on Saturday decided to extend the special policing powers granted to the Rangers paramilitary force in Sindh for 90-days.
The Sindh Home Secretary will send a letter to the Secretary, Ministry of Interior requesting the extension of special powers. The powers will enable the paramilitary force to conduct raids against target killers, extortionists, extremists and kidnappers.
The special session was called by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah with the Rangers issues as the prime focus. The Rangers had submitted a report of their 6-month operations to the Sindh government.
The special policing powers granted to Pakistan Rangers Sindh in Karachi, for a period of three months, expired on Friday, April 14.
The Sindh government had approved a 90-day extension in Rangers’ special powers in Karachi in January. The notification granting powers to the paramilitary force took effect from January 16, 2017.
The special policing powers under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 allow Pakistan Rangers Sindh to carry out raids and arrest suspects.
Rangers have had been granted these powers to scale down terrorism, extortion, kidnappings for ransom, target killings and other crimes in Karachi, which has long been plagued by violence, mafias and criminal gangs.
However, the 90-day extension in Rangers powers expired Friday, after which the paramilitary force needs authorisation by the provincial administration to continue its operations against terrorists and criminals in the megapolis.
The Home Department of Sindh forwarded a summary of extension to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on April 5, which is pending approval.
Earlier in 2016, the provincial government tried to restrict the Rangersâ€™ powers in Karachi. However, the move was overruled by the centre.