KARACHI: The KSE-100 Index dropped drastically to a low of roughly 550 points during the day’s trading on Monday, on the back of falling crude oil prices in the international market and political uncertainty resulting from a deadlock between the federal and provincial governments on extension of Rangers’ policing powers, analysts said.
The session started at 33,048.51 but fell to 32,504 by 2:12pm ─ a drop of over 1.63 per cent. It earlier fell about 459 points but had made a crawling recovery during the day’s trading before dropping nearly 200 points more.
“The political uncertainty that looms with no decision on Rangers yet has caused some panic among investors,” said Umer Pervez, head of Research at AKD Securities.
But regional markets have also been suffering, with crude oil prices falling, he said. A US Federal Reserve meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, has also had a downward impact on markets across the world, according to Pervez.
“With the Fed expected to increase rates, global portfolios will be repositioned after a long time,” he added.
Earlier, in the Sindh Assembly today, discussion of the Rangers’ special powers held 11th place on the agenda, causing an uproar among opposition members who accused the provincial government of deliberately delaying the decision on the extension of powers.
The session was adjourned at 2pm without a resolution presented or discussion held on the key issue of extending Rangers’ powers.
A conflict between the federal and Sindh governments became all too obvious on Saturday when Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali went so far as to hint at the possibility of imposing Governor’s Rule in Sindh to continue the Karachi operation.
Nisar alleged the provincial government’s delaying tactics were aimed to save just one man – an implicit reference to Dr Asim Hussain – and were endangering the Karachi operation.
He said that the delay in extending Rangers’ powers was a message to embolden terrorists and extremists, adding that in case Sindh did not comply, the government had four to five different options within the “constitutional, legal and democratic framework”.
But the Sindh government has insisted that getting the assembly’s approval on the matter is a constitutional requirement and is unwilling to extend the paramilitary force’s police powers via an executive notification, like it has done over the years.
Moula Bux Chandio, the provincial government’s adviser on information, had on Saturday claimed the matter will be resolved Monday in the legislature. But the assembly session was adjourned without any debate or decision on the issue, raising fears and speculation of political turmoil among investors.