Islamabad: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has decided against approaching the judiciary on the Rangers’ issue only after his top legal aide Farooq H Naek gave the opinion that the Sindh government had no legal case to fight.
The PPP’s Sindh government has now decided to fight the case politically against the federal government. It has, however, not yet issued a notification in the follow-up of the order recently issued by the Interior Ministry on the Rangers’ policing powers for 60 days with effect from December 6. Although, it will not harm the Rangers’ authority already notified by Islamabad, the Sindh government is avoiding the established practice of issuing a notification synchronising the Centre’s order. Sources said the provincial Home Department has already moved the summary for the chief minister’s approval to issue the required notification.
According to informed sources with whom Naek has shared his views, the PPP’s top legal mind has conveyed to Asif Ali Zardari that not only he is dissatisfied with the language of the resolution adopted by the provincial assembly on the issue but finds a serious flaw i.e. the resolution did not have the Sindh government’s approval.
“Neither the draft resolution was moved by the Law Department nor the Home Department knew about it,” a source said, adding that the resolution moved and adopted by the assembly did not have the approval of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.
The sources said that Naek was of the view how the provincial government could defend the resolution which did not have the approval of the chief minister and which was not produced either by the law or the home department.
In view of such shortcomings, the PPP leadership is hesitant to go to the court of law against the federal government’s order regarding the Rangers’ unconditional policing role in Karachi. It is discussed that in case the court decides in favour of the federal government, nothing would be left for the PPP to raise its voice against the Rangers’ role.
While the PPP has opted to politically handle the case, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, during his recent consultations on the issue, had discussed the court options and was prepared to defend the federal government in case Sindh decided to approach the judiciary.
Politics on the issue apart, the Rangers following the interior ministry’s Dec 25, 2015 notification, have the full authority under the Anti-Terrorist Act 1997 to do their policing job without being bothered by the conditions set by the provincial assembly or the government.
Before issuing the notification, the Interior Ministry had already rejected the provincial government’s conditional approval to the Rangers’ policing role in Karachi. According to the notification, “The powers conferred upon Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) in Karachi Division, under clause (i) of sub-section (3) of Section 4 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 (XXVII of 1997), are extended for another period of sixty (60) days with effect from 6th December 2015.”
Read : Centre vs Sindh: PM to mollify Sindh govt after rangers argument