The Pakistan Rangers are part of the Paramilitary forces of Pakistan, under the direct control of theMinistry of the Interior of the Pakistan Government. The Rangers are a border security force with the prime objective to guard, defend and secure borders in peace time as well war time 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 Rangers 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 near Lahore, together with their counterparts in the Indian Border Security Force, participate in a flag lowering ceremony at Wagah.
The origins and roots of Rangers dates back to 1942, when British government established a special unit as Sindh Police Rangers. After the independence 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.
The Rangers had fought together with the Pakistan Army in several conflicts, namely the 1965 Indo-Pak war and 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. 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 theCivil 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 inKosovo 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. 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, theGovernment 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. 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. 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.