Punjab plans to seek Rangers deployment


Punjab plans to seek Rangers deployment LAHORE: The Punjab government intends to seek deployment of Rangers for two months to assist police and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in hunting down terrorists and their facilitators and combating banned organisations in the province.

A summary to that effect has been prepared and sent to the chief minister for his consent. It will be sent to the interior minister for final approval and deployment of Rangers through the provincial apex committee.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan confirmed the move on Thursday night. He told Dawn that Rangers would only assist police and the CTD in conducting intelligence-based operations and providing security during Eidul Azha and Muharram.

“This is not going to be the Karachi-like deployment of Rangers who have been given policing powers by the Sindh Assembly,” he said.

Sources in the Punjab government said the summary had been prepared upon pressure by the army to intensify operations against terrorists so as to avoid any major act of terrorism.

According to the summary, Rangers might be deployed in Punjab under Section 7 read with Section 10 of the Pakistan Rangers Ordinance 1959 to assist police and the CTD in proceeding against the outlawed organisations and hunting down terrorists and their facilitators.

The quantum of the force will be determined by the provincial apex committee, headed by the Punjab chief minister, after due assessment of credible information justifying the intelligence-based operations.

Mr Sanaullah said the need to seek the help of Rangers was felt during meetings presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the aftermath of the Quetta tragedy in which over 50 lawyers lost their lives.

“We receive threat warnings every day. And there is a need to expand the sphere of operations against terrorists and their facilitators under the Nation Action Plan. We are seeking the assistance of Rangers but not giving them policing powers like they are enjoying in Karachi,” he insisted.

The minister said the CTD had been solely going after terrorists in Punjab after its creation, but it had its own operational and strength limitations due to which “we are feeling the need to call Rangers for our help,” he said.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1282983/punjab-plans-to-seek-rangers-deployment

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