The Pakistan Rangers

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ

English: Pakistan Ranger in alert position
The Pakistan Rangers (Urdu: پاکستان رینجروں‎) are part of the Paramilitary forces of Pakistan, and consists of members of the Pakistan Army under the direct control of the Ministry of the Interior of the Pakistan Government. The Rangers are an internal security force with the prime objective to provide and maintain security in war zones and areas of conflict as well as maintaining law and order which includes providing assistance to the police. Prior to 1995, the Pakistan Rangers were two separate forces: the Pakistan Rangers Punjab headquartered in Lahore, Punjab, and the Mehran Force headquartered in Karachi, Sindh. The two forces maintain their different uniforms and chains of command but work under same ordinances, such as the Pakistan Rangers Ordinance 1959.
Each evening, Pakistan Rangers stationed in Lahore, together with their counterparts in the Indian Border Security Force, participate in a flag lowering ceremony at Wagah.

History

The origins and roots of Rangers dates back to 1942, when British government established a special unit as Sindh Police Rangers. After the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, the protection of its eastern boundaries was allotted to particular forces, such as the Punjab Border Police Force, Bahawalpur State Police, Khairpur State Police and Sindh Rifles. Because the Rangers were neither correctly structured nor outfitted for a specific duty, in 1958, they were restructured and renamed as the West Pakistan Rangers.
The current Sindh Rangers is a combined force constituted in the early 90's for a strategic anti-dacoit operation in the interior of Sindh. The force operated under the name of Mehran Force and included the then existing Sindh Rangers, 3 Battalions of Pakistan Army (inc. SSG), Northern Scouts. This force was commanded by Major General Saleem Ishaq Khan. It was this force constitution that eventually became the modern day Sindh Rangers.

War performances

The Rangers had fought together with the Pakistan Army in several conflicts, namely the 1965 Indo-Pak war and 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.[2] After the 1971 war, the force was federalized underneath the Ministry of Defence as the Pakistan Rangers, and, shortly in 1974, it was made a component of the Civil Armed Forces (CAF) under the Ministry of Interior. Pakistan Rangers guard the borders during peace and war. In 1995, the Mehran Force was merged into the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh). The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) are credited for providing the Pakistan Army troops for Special Police Units in Kosovo and Haiti Peace mission every year.
These troops are entrusted with the task to provide protection and security to UN officials, provide operational and backup support, respond to threats to public order in coordination with the Kosovo administration, and assist humanitarian agencies.[3] The Rangers also had participated in numerous special military operations along with Pakistan Army Special Forces branch in the past. Since their revitalization and re-building after the 1971 war, the Rangers have been involved in the numerous special military operations in Pakistan. The Rangers have also assisted the Army's Special Service Group in performing special operations. They first participated in 1973, when they, based on the intelligence reports, had successfully accompanied the SSGs to raid the Iraqi Embassy. In 1992, the Rangers were deployed to Karachi, and the Government of Sindh had used Rangers to keep peace in the city. The Rangers had also participated in Operation Blue Fox in 1992 along with the Army. Due to their close association with the Army, the Rangers also fought in Indo-Pakistani War of 1999 (Best known as Kargil War) deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite the fact of it being a paramilitary force, the Government of Pakistan had recognized the Rangers as its one its special forces in 2004. The Rangers were among one of the special forces that participated in Operation Silence and accompanied Army Commandos in the operation. During the operation, the Rangers suffered a single casualty.[4] In 2009, Rangers completed a special military operation in Lahore alongside the Special Service Group, when terrorists attacked the Manawan Police Academy. While it was led by the Pakistan Rangers, the operation, codenamed Lahore Police Academy Operation, ended with eight militant deaths with one captured.[5] The same year, the Government of Pakistan deployed the Rangers to secure the outskirts of Islamabad when Taliban forces had taken over the Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla districts. Its members also participated in Operation Black Thunderstorm while securing the capital.[6] Currently, there are Rangers deployed in Karachi.

Standard equipment

  • Automatic Rifles - 7.62 mm G3A3, 7.62 mm G3P4 and AK-47
  • Machine Guns - 7.62 mm MG3
  • Sub-Machine Guns - 9 mm MP5A2 & MP5P4, 9 mm SMG-PK,Steyr AUG
  • Pistols - Glock series, Sigma series TT pistol
  • Dragunov sniper rifle,PSG 1 (POF made)
  • RPG-7,Carl Gustav recoilless rifle,RPG-29
  • heavy machine gun - 12.7mm DShk,
  • Bullet Proof Jackets - Various local and foreign types
  • Helmets - Modular Integrated Communications Helmet and indigenous helmets produced by AWC,Pakistan.
  • Bell 407 Jet ranger
  • APC - Talha,Saad,mohafiz
  • NVG goggles
  • Unknown Mortars
The formal headwear of the Rangers are somewhat similar to the ones worn by the Frontier Corps.

Notable officers

In the past there was direct entry through which the cadets were selected for the rank of sub inspector but recently this procedure is closed . The senior most entry is the 3rd and 4th entry and many of them are now serving at the rank of SR or SSR.

Karachi Incident

This was a controversial incident regarding the shooting of a 22-year-old Pakistani citizen Sarfaraz Shah by soldiers affiliated with Sindh Rangers, a branch of the paramilitary command Pakistan Rangers.The Rangers personnel were criminally tried and sentenced. The electronic media played a vital role in highlighting this event.[13]

Role in peace maintenance in Karachi

While kidnapping for ransom, extortion, threats to business community was common in Karachi and industrialists were shifting their investment in Bangladesh and other countries, Chief Of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani too the notice of dire situation and on request of government and business community, Pakistan Rangers was deployed with special powers. Pak Rangers played excellent role in maintaining peace and curbed law offenders without any discrimination and consideration of political affiliation. Business community in particular and masses in general took sight of relief and lauded the role of rangers in Sindh. Diretor General Rangers Sindh Lt.General Ejaz Chaudry visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 17 November 2011, on this occasion business community unanimously acclaimed the rangers role in maintaining peace in the city and demanded extension in its stay with special orders for another one year.
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