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Army job is to give security not to govern: Sindh Rangers Director General

30 January, 2016

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KARACHI: Sindh Rangers Director General Major Gen Bilal Akbar disclosed on Friday the arrest of an important Taliban leader to establish his claim about recent success made by the paramilitary force in the targeted operation in Karachi as well as restoration of peace to a large extent. But at the same time he rejected the idea of direct role in governance, saying “it’s not our job”.

The Rangers chief made the disclosure at an academic conference — Politik 2016 — organised by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at its campus in the University of Karachi.

According to the participants, Major Gen Akbar first highlighted the role of his force, the “successful results” achieved and challenges of the Karachi operation and then answered some “harsh” questions in detail and “quite frankly”.

Other panellists in the discussion were Zubair Habib of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and journalist Zarrar Khuhro. Since the media was not invited to the event, details of the discussion came in bits through the participants of the hours-long session.

“Even political parties have recognised the fact that the ratio of crime in Karachi has gone incredibly down due to this operation,” one of the participants quoted the Rangers chief as saying. “We have busted criminal gangs and arrested a number of assassins and dozens of militants during the operation which led to peace in the city. Only recently we have arrested a key leader of Taliban who was operating under three fake identities.

“His arrest is a big achievement and it suggests our strong ground intelligence and operational capability.”

According to the participants, the Rangers DG shared with them two names – Dawood Mehsood and Bilal Mehsood – of the Taliban leader who, he said, had multiple identities to deceive law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but did not disclose the area from where he was arrested.

An interesting situation, a participant said, emerged when someone from the audience put a question to Major Gen Akbar. He took a second to reply, explaining the job of his force was law enforcement and not governance.

“You have been so active during these days while eliminating crime and looking into other ills of society, so why don’t you take over and directly take up the governance issues,” the participant quoted the questioner as saying.

“I am sad to hear your question,” the Rangers chief retorted. “We are here with a purpose. Our job is to provide security and enforce law. Governance is not our job.”

Later in the day, the Rangers chief met Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan at the Governor’s House and discussed with him law and order and the Karachi operation.

“The meeting reiterated that action against criminals will be intensified and the province cleansed of criminals so that a complete and lasting peace could be ensured,” said a statement issued by the Governor’s House.

It was busy a day for civil and military leaderships. Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar held separate meetings with the governor and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

During his meeting at the CM House, the corps commander discussed with the chief minister issues relating to implementation of the National Action Plan and the operation against terrorists.

According to a statement issued by the CM House, the two also discussed implementation of decisions taken by the apex committee to further tighten the noose around terrorists.

The chief minister said he had approved the establishment of another 10 anti-terrorism courts in Karachi and the interior ministry had been requested to direct wireless broadband companies to undertake biometric registration of their customers.

The statement said the corps commander had expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the apex committee’s decisions and said that with the strengthening of the prosecution system, terrorists would not be able to get away.

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