Rangers in Punjab but without clear mandate

Rangers in Punjab but without clear mandate

LAHORE:  The Punjab government has decided to seek support from the Rangers to combat terrorism in the province, officials said on Sunday.

Although the details regarding the nature and extent of support to be provided by the Rangers are yet to finalized, according to a statement released by the Punjab government, sources believe the paramilitary forces will provide assistance to law enforcement agencies in counter-terrorism operations in the province.

The apex committee’s decision comes days after a series of deadly militant attacks in five days from Sunday killed more than 100 people across Pakistan, including civilians, the police and soldiers.

At least 15 people were killed and 85 others wounded when a Jamaat-ul-Ahrar bomber hit a protest of chemists and pharmaceuticals manufacturers on Lahore’s Mall Road last Monday. At least six police officials were killed in the blast.

This is the worst spell of violence since 2014, when Pakistan launched an operation to eliminate militant sanctuaries in its north-western tribal region.

Following the Lahore attack, Punjab’s law enforcement agencies launched a province-wide crackdown on banned militant organizations.