KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly session on Monday was adjourned till 10 am Tuesday amidst chants and sloganeering by opposition MPAs, who were protesting against the PPP-led government for not taking up the critical issue of extending Rangers’ special powers in the province.
PML-N, PTI and PML-F members chanted slogans against the PPP-led government for failing to present a resolution for the extension of special powers of Rangers despite being on agenda. The session was expected to resolve the matter of extending Rangers’ special powers in Sindh, which had expired on December 6, with the federal government and Sindh at odds over the matter. Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani had to adjourn the session after normal proceedings could not be held.
Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro said in a presser after the assembly session on Monday that it would not be a wise move to remove the democratic set-up in the province and replace it with governor’s rule. “If governor’s rule is implemented in Sindh, then we would resist it, like we did in 1998,” stated Khuro. He also said that democratic institutions should be given the time to take their own course. “Why can’t we wait for the assembly?” “The law and order situation in the province has improved, so why would governor’s rule be implemented in Sindh,” added the minister.
In a presser on Saturday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali went so far as to hint at the possibility of imposing governor’s rule in Sindh to continue the Karachi operation. Nisar alleged the provincial government’s tactics were aimed to save just one man – an implicit reference to Dr Asim Hussain – and were endangering the Karachi operation. He said that the delay in extending Rangers’ powers was a message to embolden terrorists and extremists, adding that in case Sindh did not comply, the government had four to five different options within the “constitutional, legal and democratic framework”.
In the same breath, however, the minister hoped that sanity would prevail. “If the MQM and PPP have some reservations, we are ready to sit with them to address those issues with maturity and seriousness,” he remarked. Maula Bux Chandio soon responded on behalf of the Sindh government in equally confrontational terms, but dispelled a potential standoff when he declared that the government would move a resolution in the Sindh Assembly on Monday to ensure that Rangers were given special policing powers. The question of extending Rangers’ stay in Karachi became controversial when the Sindh government failed to renew it before the expiry of the previous order on December 6.