ISLAMABAD -  After last month’s fiasco on Rangers’ deployment at the main gate of Islamabad’s judicial complex when ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the accountability court, the Ministry of Interior Monday again extended the deployment of Rangers in the Islamabad Capital Territory for another 90 days.

The ministry, through a notification, made extension in deployment of the paramilitary force with effect from November 3rd on the request of the chief commissioner Islamabad under Section 4(2) of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

Currently, as many as 2,000 troops of Pakistan Rangers and 50 contingents of the Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts are deployed in the federal capital under the ATA 1997 in aid to civil powers.

The deployment of the GB Scouts had also been extended for the same period through the same notification.

Sub-section 2 of the Section 4 of the ATA 1997 says that: “If, in the opinion of the provincial government, the presence of armed forces, or civil armed forces, is necessary in order to  prevent the commission of terrorist acts or  scheduled offences in any area, it may request the federal government to direct the  presence or posting of units or personnel of the  armed forces, or civil armed forces, in such numbers as may be deemed necessary for the prevention or control of terrorist acts or  scheduled offences.”

The troops of Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and the GB Scouts have been deployed in the federal capital to assist the police in maintaining law and order for the past few years.

Rangers perform joint patrol duties along with the police, help police in search operations and assist it in securing important buildings of the capital.

However, Rangers withdrew security duties from the Parliament House after the October 2nd incident.

On October 2nd, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had lashed out at the Rangers after the paramilitary force suddenly took over the security of the main gate of the judicial complex restricting the entry of the federal ministers, the PML-N workers, journalists and lawyers at a time when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif appeared in the accountability court.

Rangers presently work under the administrative control of the Ministry of Interior.

The interior minister himself had reached the complex and questioned who ordered Rangers to take over the security of the gate as the ICT Administration had claimed that it did not seek the services of the force.

However, the force also barred him from entering the premises. The minister said that “Pakistan was not a banana republic and it was constitutional country.”

He had said Rangers was a force, which was subordinate to the Ministry of Interior and when they were deployed, they were supposed to work under the command of the civil administration. The minister also threatened to resign and had asked for a high-level inquiry to determine who had challenged the writ of the state.

However, the findings of the inquiry conducted by the ICT Administration were never shared with the media.