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Paramilitary Rangers get policing powers in Karachi

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 20:26

Karachi: The Sindh government on Wednesday gave
sweeping powers to its paramilitary force to quell violence
and improve the law and order situation in Karachi where 44
people have been killed in political clashes in five days.

A notification by the Home Department said the Rangers
will now control the law and order situation in all 26 police
stations of the city and also have powers to arrest, detain,
interrogate suspects and carry out raids under the
anti-terrorist laws.
It is after nearly 20 years that the rangers have been
given the sweeping powers.

The move has come after clashes involving workers of
political parties and the land grabbers mafia since last
Saturday has killed around 44 people.

Violence has also been reported from many parts of the
city and tensions running high in the Pashtun and Urdu
speaking dominated populace.

Reacting to the decision, former Inspector General of
Police Afzal Shigri said, "The rangers are better equipped to
handle the present situation and stop this violence."
He felt the rangers would need the cooperation of the
police to make their operations successful, although they
would work parallel to each other.

Political analysts, however, believe that the sweeping
powers given to the Rangers could increase tensions between
the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the Mutthaida Qaumi
Movement as the two have accused each other of being behind
the target killings.


First Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 20:26

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