ISLAMABAD: A meeting headed by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday approved the deployment of Rangers in Punjab for 60 days.
National Security Advisor Nasir Janjua and Secretary Interior Arif Khan were part of the meeting that passed the decision today. Chief Secretary Punjab Shaukat Hayat, Home Secretary Major (Rtd.) Suleman Azam, IG Punjab Mustaq Sukhera and other officials were also in attendance.
Under their temporary new powers, Rangers will be allowed to carry out operations in case of emergency. The raids will be carried out on the basis of intelligence reports.
The request for deployment of Rangers in Punjab was made after a series of back-to-back explosions across the country including one in Lahore on February 13, in which 14 people including policemen were killed.
Speaking about the government’s decision, the federal minister said, “The government is determined to completely eradicate terrorism.” He further stated that the government is resolute to provide assistance to all provinces. “National unity is required to fight terrorism,” Nisar said.
Sources told Geo News that the Rangers will use their authorities in certain parts of the province particularly Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan.
The Rangers will be handed over powers to facilitate law enforcement agencies in Punjab in accordance with Pakistan Rangers Act Sections 7 and 10 and Anti Terrorism Act Section 5.
The request to deploy Rangers was made under Article 147 of the Constitution, which allows the provincial government to entrust its functions to the federation, and Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
According to Article 7, the paramilitary force “can assist the police in prevention and detection of crime in border areas and reinforce the police for maintenance of law and order.”
Moreover, Article 10 allows the government to “confer or impose upon any member of the force powers or duties conferred or imposed on a police officer of any class or grade by any enactment.”