Rangers raid: A message for senior PPP members

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ISLAMABAD: The Rangers raid on the offices of a businessman in Karachi is a message for PPP senior members.

The establishment appears to be giving a clear message to them and all others — no one should be mistaken that with the change of guards in Army there will either be any change in policy against corruption-linked crime or any compromise will be made on Rangers-led Karachi operation.

Those arrested from the offices of the businessmen were later released. A senior spokesman of the Rangers when contacted told The News that there might be a political angle to this raid for the media persons but Rangers conducted the raid as per its mandate and following an information that huge cache of weapons is present in the businessman’s offices.

The spokesman explained that being a law enforcement agency it is not possible for Rangers to take into consideration the links connections, influence or friendship of someone while conducting raids or initiating any lawful action.

He added that during the last few days several raids were conducted by Rangers and the Friday raids were no different from others. The offices raided on Friday, the spokesman said, neither belonged to government nor to any public office holder and thus there was no need to get the permission from any federal or provincial authority.

The PPP leader Friday returned to Karachi after ending his one and a half year long self-exile and only after the retirement of former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. He had to leave Pakistan mid last year after he chose to attack the previous army chief in one of his public speeches.

With new Army Chief and new DG Rangers in the saddle, he decided to return to Pakistan within days after PPP senior members got reputed Sindh Inspector General Police AD Khawaja unceremoniously removed on the recommendation of the businessman.

Interestingly one reason for the businessman’s anger against AD Khawaja was a recent raid in a Karachi Clifton flat from where different weapons were recovered by police. The flat reportedly was owned by the son of the businessman.

An FIR was registered but because of the pressure from top PPP leadership, neither the accused was named nor was the actual site of the raid reflected in the document. In addition, AD Khawaja was also confronted by the businessman after the former police chief stopped Badin police from pressuring sugarcane growers to sell the commodity to a particular sugar mill.

Only a few days back, the IGP was unceremoniously removed on the direction from PPP senior members, who were reportedly told to do so by the businessman. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah as well as Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had liking for AD Khawaja but Anwar Majeed proved more powerful than both of them. The chief minister Sindh, however, had said in a statement that AD Khawaja had applied for leave.

—Originally published in The News