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Rangers not empowered enough, complains DG Maj Gen Rizwan

20 March, 2014

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KARACHI: The Rangers Sindh director general has asserted that the powers granted by the provincial government to the paramilitary force were not enough to allow it to effectively bring the law and order situation in Karachi under control.

"The paramilitary force is making efforts but a piece of paper can't empower us," Major General Rizwan Akhtar told reporters at the inauguration ceremony of a command and control centre in FB Area on Wednesday.

Apparently frustrated with politics time and again hindering the law enforcement agencies' efforts to tackle crime, the paramilitary official complained that the Sindh government handed over additional powers to Rangers after the Supreme Court's suo moto notice on August 24, 2011, but they were restricted to search and operations only.

"Rangers cannot keep a suspect in custody. The suspects have to be handed over to police," the official said.

"Rangers require more powers to deliver satisfactory results." The Rangers director general said the crackdown against criminals in Karachi had lost its momentum after November. "The paramilitary force wouldn't be able to continue carrying out the operation for a long period under these circumstances."

Akhtar noted that there were certain loopholes in the system that needed to be fixed in order to make the city safe.

"The flaws in the system allow criminals to be released. Witnesses need to be protected and illegal SIMs completely blocked."

Akhtar also pointed out that Lyari was not the only area in Karachi plagued by law and order problems. "There are several other areas in the city that are facing problems similar to that in Lyari."

The official stressed the need for increasing police and Rangers personnel in the city.

"Police are facing more problems than Rangers and they have also sacrificed more than us."

This is not the first time that the Rangers official has stirred up a hornet's nest with a scathing statement. He had told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the latter's recent visit to Karachi that some key members of the Pakistan People's Party were supporting the gangsters of Lyari.

Identifying the gangsters' political links as the major reason behind the deteriorating law and order situation in Lyari, Akhtar had told Sharif that the problem could not be solved until the ruling party cut off its ties with the area's criminals.

End.

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