Rangers control of court premises: Govt to approach army chief, seek explanation from DG Rangers
ISLAMABAD: The government is approaching the army chief after finding through an administrative inquiry that the Punjab Rangers had taken control of Islamabad accountability court’s premises on Monday without any requisition from the district administration or any other civilian authority.
Interior ministry sources told The News on Tuesday that a dossier on the incident was being sent to Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He said that an explanation was also being sought from the DG Punjab Rangers.
The inquiry report on the incident was submitted to the interior minister last night. The report confirms that the Punjab Rangers had acted unlawfully without any permission from any civilian authority.
It is not yet known, however, as to who had tasked the Rangers to take control of the Islamabad accountability court on Monday. According to sources, the government expects from the army chief to take notice of this incident and initiate action against those who had acted unlawfully causing embarrassment to both the civilian government as well as the defence institution.
These sources added that the government, while expecting action from the army chief to proceed against those responsible for the Monday’s incident, desires to address the issue in a manner that it does not fuel civil-military confrontation.
The Rangers illegally controlled the accountability court’s premises and even blocked the entry of those including mediamen who were duly permitted. This unauthorised use of the Rangers had virtually turned the accountability court trial into an in-camera. Observers and critics noted that even during the martial laws, open trials were held.
The embarrassing situation caused by the Rangers led to the interior minister’s outburst who said that Pakistan was not a banana republic but a democratic, constitutional country, and asked the Islamabad administration to give him in writing how the Rangers took over.
“I will step down if the rule didn’t become clear about what the writ of the state and the civil administration is. Whose orders the paramilitary force was following when the interior ministry did not issue any such direction that it was enforcing. There will be one law here and one government and two states cannot function within one state,” the minister commented.
When the interior minister during his visit of the accountability court had called the Rangers commander to explain what the force was doing and on whose orders, the official reportedly disappeared from the scene.
After the hearing of the case, the judge of the accountability court was quoted by the electronic media as having said that he had not called the Rangers. However, later in his order issued, the judge wrote that the Rangers were deployed for security purposes. While the government was raising hue and cry over the Rangers taking control of the premises, the accountability judge in his order said: “Deployment of Rangers was highly appreciable action of the government.”
Originally published in The News