Stories about rangers

Rangers shooting: Lust for blood

The video of Sarfaraz Shah’s last traumatic moments imploded on to cyber space with some enthusiasm and a profusion of expletives. Messages like “check kar yeh video” (check out this video), “here’s the full video, yaar,”  “sharing the HD version,” “uncut footage” and “exclusive video” pepper the Facebook newsfeed. Bloodied and battered thumbnails accompany the excited posts. Lust for blood, it seems, is not exclusive to criminals. Slowly, steadily and grimly, Sarfaraz Shah’s life was extinguished on tape. His blood was squeezed out drop by drop, fanning out in a wider and wider crimson circle around his wiry frame, as ...

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Police force: Where are they in times of need?

They stand tall and sharp in their starch white uniforms, guns ready in hand, next to the fluorescent orange cones dividing us and them. “Of course, the president must be in town,” I thought as I glared at the ever-ready police officers. It’s funny to see these police officers and rangers come out of nowhere every time the president or prime minister is in town. Not only are they out on the streets, they look clean, vigilant and pose to be doing their jobs well. Clearly, the government has the resources to protect the common man, yet the only time you ...

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Pakistan needs a gun-control law

Has your car ever been stuck behind a police mobile in a traffic jam? If yes, then you may have found yourself staring in to the barrel of a rifle that lay snugly on a police officer’s lap. There is probable a security lock on these guns that are pointed directly at us, but the thought of an accidental shot always makes me move a little further away from the vehicles to ensure the gun is not pointing at me. What bothers me is that I have never seen the rifle pointing towards the vehicle, at another officer or the driver ...

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On being considered a Taliban…

Earlier this week,  Rangers personnel cordoned off Kunwari Colony, a Pashtun-dominated area in Manghopir, Karachi. The area is inhabited mostly by people belonging to the Mehsud tribe that hails mainly from Waziristan. The Rangers banned the exit of all and sundry from the colony with the help of police. They then started a door-to-door operation arresting anyone they found to be suspect; tied their hands, covered their faces and put them into trucks. More than 1,500 were booked and shifted to undisclosed places. Most of them are daily wage labourers and road-side vendors who sell scrap items or fruits. Later some ...

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Desensitised in Karachi’s killing fields

Karachi is seeing red again as the city is gripped by target killings and “cannibalism”. Yes, I know the latter isn’t an appropriate word, but has anyone got a better way to describe what is happening in the city? The death toll of the three days’ ongoing target killings in Karachi has climbed to 55 on Tuesday with 15 killings in last 24 hours in various parts of the city. And that is not counting the very latest figures of the 12 victims who died in Sher shah. The police and Rangers claimed to have apprehended more than 80 persons allegedly ...

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Karachi doesn’t need Rangers!

Increasing the powers of the para-military troops to police Karachi is supposed to help control the law and order situation. But has it? Ever since 1993, when the Rangers became a visible force in the city, what have they really achieved? Political forces have awarded Rangers funds and powers which seem to allow then to get away with committing crimes instead of preventing them. Many in the city believe that Rangers go unpunished because of their position. They are superior in rank to the Police and just below that of the Army. But in Karachi, they are supposed to be ...

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