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Rangers' powers: MQM not in agreement with PPP: Izhar

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the main opposition party in Sindh Assembly on Thursday dispelled the impression that it was in agreement with the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the province over Rangers policing powers.

"MQM has no objections to Karachi operation but we have certain reservations on some issues such as missing of our workers," Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, the opposition party leader, told media persons shortly before commencement of Sindh Assembly session that was specifically called to discuss the issue vis-à-vis policing powers to the paramilitary force.

The MQM leader, who was accompanied by Syed Sardar Ahmed and Abdul Haseeb Khan, said that the Sindh government had not yet approached his party on a proposed draft on Rangers policing powers. "Neither the government made any contact with the MQM nor shared a draft on Rangers powers with it," he said, cautioning the ruling PPP of facing difficulties if the proposed draft on Rangers powers was tabled in the house without taking his party into confidence.

On the other hand, three other small opposition parties, including PML-F, PML-N and PTI, have made a strategy aimed at forcing the government to change its plan of clipping Rangers policing powers. The three parties were set to table a resolution in the house in support of Rangers-led Karachi operation.

The PML-F also submitted a separate resolution in favour of Rangers operation with full-powers and appreciated the law enforcers for their contribution to restoring peace in the metropolis. The PML-F through its resolution wanted that the Karachi operation must continue till the elimination of criminals' network from the city. The party believes the success of the operation depends on Rangers full powers, while limiting its authority might sabotage peace efforts.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah remained present in the house during the assembly's short-lived session that also offered Fateha for the PPP's seasoned leader late Makhdoom Amin Fahim. Earlier, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani administered oath to two lawmakers - PML-F's Jam Madad Ali Khan and PPP's newly-elected MPA Noor Ahmed Bhurgari.

The house also adopted a motion for tabling a resolution in its next sitting, which Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro had moved to pay homage to Amin Fahim for his services to the nation. The PML-F's Jam Madad Ali Khan and Nand Kumar asked the government to arrest the killers of their party's workers and local leaders who were killed after the first phase of local government elections in Khairpur. Later, the session was adjourned in the wake of death of PPP legislator Jamil Bhurgari. The Sindh Assembly's session will now be held on Friday morning.

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