History

Raising of Sindh Police Rifles

A semi military force was raised as a result of operational pulls on British-Indian Army, engaged against rebellious Hurs, for employment on other fronts during World War-II. The colonial Government of Sindh decided to raise a force comprising one thousand local personnel to be commanded by Army officers seconded to organize the force against Hurs’ uprising in 1942. The force was named “Sindh Police Rifles (SPR)” and its initial few years were extensively used for recruitment of troops from Balochistan (Makrani and Brohi), Punjab (Muslims and Sikhs), Frontier (Pathan) and other provinces of the sub continent (Muslim Ranghar, Qaimkhani and Hindus from Gujrat etc). Lieutenant Colonel H P Thomas was appointed as the first Commander of Sindh Police Rifles and Mr M G Lang as the Second in Command. Initially, the unit was organized into two wings i.e Infantry and Mounted troops. Major Codwell commanded four Companies of Infantry Wing and Major Malik Noor Muhammad Khan was commander of two Squadrons (Horse Squadron and Camel Squadron) of Mounted Wing. Headquarters of this Force was established in Miani Lines Pacca Barrack, Hyderabad Cantonment. The Force not only remained employed against the Hurs but was involved in anti dacoit operations as well.

Sindh Police Rangers

After independence, the name of the Force was changed from, “Sindh Police Rifles” to Sindh Police Rangers. Initially, the Force remained heavily committed in operations against the Hurs. After having dealt with the Hurs effectively, the government employed Sindh Police Rangers into anti dacoit operations which were also conducted successfully. Policing in interior Sindh or rural belt and fighting anti state elements remained the major roles of Sindh Police Rangers. Immediately after partition, border control was entrusted to this Force as its most important function. However, in the absence of clearly demarcated boundaries, border control remained an interim arrangement, awaiting state authorization. Eventually in December 1948, it was decided that a suitable border defence scheme for maintenance of peace and security on the border should be launched, so Sindh Police Rangers were formerly entrusted with Border Defence duties. Consequently, one Company each was deployed at Gadro and Khokhrapar. On 15 May 1951, first Area Headquarters of Sindh Police Rangers was established at Gadro with 10 x Platoon size posts located between Hara and Shakarboo. In addition, Sindh Police Rangers of actively participated in anti dacoit operations, elimination of Hur remnants and suppression of internal disturbances. Feeling pressure due to the presence of this Force on West Pakistan / Rajasthan border, the Indians indulged in Rann of Kutch area, the significance of which, could not be overlooked by the Government. Resultantly the responsibility of Sindh Police Rangers was extended to this area as well. In 1954, Area Headquarters was established at Rahim Ki Bazar with its Platoon size posts at Charan, Bartala, Vingi and Rahim Ki Bazar, facing Indian border posts. Thus, the entire border falling between Sand and Hara came under the protection and control of Sindh Police Rangers.

Reorg into Indus Rangers

After the unification of the provinces of West Pakistan in October 1954, the entire border Forces in West Pakistan were placed under the command of Deputy Inspector General Border Police. Khairpur Military Police was amalgamated into Sindh Police Rangers and additional responsibility of guarding the frontiers of Khairpur State adjacent to India was assigned to this unit. This re-organization was completed in October 1958 and the official act of its raising was promulgated on 20 March 1959. This unit was then re-designated as Indus Rangers with slight changes in the rank structure. Services of Army Officers were loaned to the Provincial Government for employment in the Rangers and Police Officers were reverted to their parent departments. This force was assigned a frontage of 912 Kilometers. Headquarters of this Force were located at Hyderabad with Narai Tala, Sobhawala, Kalron Ka Tala, Mithrai and Haroon ka Tala as its main posts.

Merger into the folds of Pakistan Rangers

With effect from 1958, all border forces in Sindh and Punjab were reorganized as West Pakistan Rangers initially and later re-designated as Pakistan Rangers in 1971 with Headquarters at Lahore. Reconfigured Indus Rangers was also merged in it with Headquarters remaining at Hyderabad. West Pakistan Rangers Ordinance 1959 also came into force which governed the Force and is still in vogue with minor changes from time to time.

Creation of Mehran Force

Owing to political upheavals in Sindh, especially in acquisition of power by MQM in Karachi politically motivated killings / bloodshed in Karachi and Hyderabad MQM propelled issues of Bihari community and continuity of dacoity in northern part of Sindh, ‘Operation Cleanup’ was planned, delayed, renamed as ‘Blue Fox’ and executed piecemeal over a stretch of 4-5 years. In this context, Mehran Force was raised at Lahore in October 1988 and shifted to Karachi and Hyderabad to participate in ‘Operation Cleanup’ under direct ambit of Headquarters 5 Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Afzal, General Staff Officer-I (Intelligence) was deputed to perform the duties of Officiating Force Commander till officers were posted from Army. Later, Colonel Ali Asghar Raja took over as Officiating Force Commander on 15 October 1988 till relieved by Brigadier Muhammad Yamin Khokhar on 28 February 1989 and took the Force to Karachi after its organization in July / August 1989.

Creation of Thar Rangers

In 1993, Indus Rangers was again bifurcated into two units with Indus Rangers relocated to Khairpur Mir’s and the newly created Thar Rangers stayed at Hyderabad. Internal border at Sindh was also divided into two halves with northern half remaining under Indus Rangers and southern half handed over to Thar Rangers, with boundary between them at Nagarparker.

Creation of Pakistan Rangers Sindh

With relative stabilization in Sindh with chances of re-escalation of security situation in urban areas while dacoity in rural areas of the province as a continuous phenomenon, a need was felt to raise a separate force by articulating existing resources of Pakistan Rangers and Mehran Force during 1995. Resultantly, Pakistan Rangers was bifurcated into Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) and Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) vide GoP, MOI letter 9/2/R/91 dated 1st Mar 1995. Mehran Force and other Sector Headquarters located within Sindh Province were merged to form part of Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) with Headquarters at Sheikh Zaid Islamic Centre Karachi.

Timeline

1942

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Raising of Sindh Police Rifles

A semi military force was raised during WW-II to fight against Hurs uprising.

1947

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Renamed as Sindh Police Rangers

After independence of Pakistan the force was renamed as Sindh Police Rangers.

1954

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Reorganised into Indus Rangers

The force was reorganised into Indus Rangers after the unification of Provinces of West Pakistan.

1958

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Merger of Border Forces

All border forces in Sindh and Punjab were reorganised as Pakistan Rangers.

1988

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Creation of Mehran Force

Owning to political unheavels in Sindh, Mehran Force was raised at Lahore and shifted to Karachi.

1993

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Creation of Thar Rangers

Indus Rangers was bifurcated into Indus Rangers and Thar Rangers.

1995

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Creation of Pakistan Rangers Sindh

Pakistan Rangers bifurcated into Pakistan Rangers Punjab and Pakistan Rangers Sindh. Mehran Force formed part of Sindh Rangers.