Rangers powers extended on Sindh govt’s demand: Pervaiz

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 24 (APP): Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday said that the federal government had extended the special powers of Rangers to continue operation in Karachi on the demand of Sindh government.

Despite ‘ifs and buts’ of the Sindh government, the federal government had accepted the Sindh government’s demands, including extension of Rangers’s special powers for 60 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act, he said while talking to news channels.

The minister said non-acceptance of a few conditions should not be considered as a conflict or confrontation between the federal and provincial governments, rather it might be a difference of opinion.

The difference of opinion, he added, was part of democracy and there were so many other forums, including media, Parliament and judiciary, to resolve the issues.

Pervaiz Rashid said extension of Rangers’ powers could not be termed an attack on Sindh as stated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The Karachi operation was initiated with the consensus of all political parties and Rangers were empowered on the demand of the provincial government, he added.

Replying to a question, the minister said it was wrong to say that the Karachi operation was aimed at taking revenge from anyone.

He said the law of land ultimately took its course and the acquittal of former President Asif Ali Zardari in many cases was a proof in that regard that an independent justice system was working in the country.

He said the PPP leadership and workers had also rendered sacrifices for the independence of judiciary.

Responding to a question regarding VIP culture, he welcomed the statement of PTI chief Imran Khan against VIP culutre, wishing that the same should not only be ended in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also in the whole country. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had already taken the initiative to end the culture, he added.

Pervaiz Rashid said Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) during its tenure in 1997 had taken measures to end the VIP culture. VIP rooms and lounges at airports were abolished, which were later restored by Parvez Musharraf at Rawalpindi airport during his dictatorial regime, he added.

He said that no VIP room or lounge was constructed at the refurbished airport in Lahore on the directives of the Prime Minister.

“All the ministers travel in economy class on domestic flights.  I travelled as a common passenger in the economy class from Islamabad to Lahore today,” he mentioned.

The minister said no “routes” were being imposed during the Prime Minister’s road travels. However, security requirements were fulfilled from signal to signal for which routine traffic was suspended only for a few minutes.

He said there was no example of the Prime Minister’s protocol during last two and a half years, causing inconvenience for the general public.

He said the PML-N government had introduced ‘one dish’ culture during marriage ceremonies in Punjab, which was also against the VIP culture.

The minister congratulated to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Jahangir Tareen, for winning by-election in NA-154 Lodhran.  Ballots, he said, were the only way to become a people’s representative rather than doing politics of sit-ins or containers.