KARACHI – The Government of Sindh on Saturday approved an extension in the special powers of the Pakistan Rangers for 90 days in Karachi.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah appreciated the Rangers’ efforts against target killers and the extortionist mafia.

“Targeted operations in Karachi have been effective,” the chief minister said after a cabinet meeting.

The Rangers operation against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub initiated back in September 2013.

According to a report issued by the paramilitary force at the end of 2016, the Rangers had conducted 1,992 operations across the city over the year through which more than 2,847 suspected criminals were taken into custody.

Murders and targeted killings in the city hit an all-time low in year, with 87 people falling victim compared to 199 in the preceding year.

A break-up of the numbers shows that of the 446 target killers arrested by the Rangers, 348 belonged to various political groups, 87 had links to Lyari gangs, while 11 were affiliated with different sectarian groups.

Some 26 criminals involved in kidnapping for ransom were also apprehended, and 13 of their abductees were safely brought back.