Govt extends Rangers powers in Islamabad for 90 days

  • Currently, 2,000 Rangers troops and 50 personnel of Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts are deployed all over Islamabad
Pakistan
Rangers

ISLAMABAD – The federal government on Monday approved an extension in the deployment of the Rangers in the capital city for further 90 days.

Currently, 2,000 Rangers troops and 50 personnel of Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts are deployed all over Islamabad.

The paramilitary force had been deployed in capital following the request of the chief commissioner under Section 4 of the 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act.

The development follows a controversy that erupted on October 3 when the paramilitary troops had barred Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and others from entering the Federal Judicial Complex on the hearing of corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif in the accountability court.

The interior minister spoke out against the deployment of the Rangers and said a “state within a state” will not be acceptable. He added that Rangers are bound to follow the instruction of the civil administration.

Following the outburst, the paramilitary force on October 4 withdrew the troops deployed for the security of the Parliament House, saying that no orders were sent to provide security there.

Later, Iqbal sought an explanation from the Punjab Rangers director general over withdrawal of the troops and deployment at the accountability court on Nawaz Sharif’s hearing.