Law and Order Situation

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947. Pakistan has a strategic location in South Asia, surrounded by India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran. Pakistan has a total area of 803,940 sq. km and an estimated population of 170 million. Pakistan is a federation, with four federating units, called Provinces, namely, Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and Baluchistan. The capital is Islamabad, and the tribal belt adjoining the NWFP is managed by the Federal Government and is know as FATA i. e; Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas have their own political system, yet certain of their subjects are taken care of by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas. The Provinces are further divided into Divisions and Districts. The basic administrative unit is a district, being governed by the District Nazim, popularly elected, who is supported by a senior civil officer called District Coordination Officer (DCO) and the District Police Officer (DPO) in the smooth running of the local government, rather a new system introduced by the President Pervez Musharraf regime in 2000 and 2002.

Pakistan has a parliamentary form of government, and the Parliament consists of two Houses, i. e; the Senate (Upper House), giving equal representation to all Provinces, and the National Assembly (Lower House), representing the nation on population and direct adult voting system. The Senate is a permanent legislative body and consists of 100 members. The National Assembly has a total of 342 elected members (272 general seats, 60 women seats, and 10 non-muslims (minority) seats). The President is the Head of State and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. The Provinces have their own Provincial Assemblies, the Chief Minister, and a Governor, who is a nominee of the Federal Government through the President of Pakistan. Pakistan has enormous importance due to her strategic location; her being the front line state during the Soviet invasion on Afghanistan (1979-1988), and now a front line of defense and a staunch ally of the Allied Nations in the global war on terror. Pakistan has tremendous human and natural resources, excellent minds and brains, beautiful historical places, arts, and literature, and has been contributing to the world peace and progress through various international forums, like the UN and its Agencies, OIC, SAARC, and other international organizations of which Pakistan is a member. The literacy rate is 53% the national language is Urdu and the official language is English; 97% population is Muslims and 3% minority (Christian, Hindus, and others). Annual per capita income is $ 736; the population growth rate is 1. 29 and the life expectancy is 64. About 65% population is in urban areas. However, the UNDP Index for Pakistan is at a lower rank due to some of her poor socio-economic indicators.

LAW AND ORDER SITUATION IN PAKISTAN

Nato forces invaded and bombard the Afghan nation, sometimes indiscriminately, which led to the desired goal of the destruction of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, but in addition, gave rise to a lot of internal and external problems for Pakistan: the economy, internal security environment, and social tranquility jolted badly due to such problems. The spill-over effect of the Taliban from Afghanistan into the tribal belt of Pakistan has been under continuous discussion in the western media and US administration, both civilian and military departments. Right from the everyday reports of various research institutes in USA and news stories of Washington Post, the New York Times, etc to the well-researched analysis and reports of EUROPOL  and Council on Foreign Relations report on ‘Securing Pakistan’s Tribal Belt (Daniel Markey, 2008), Pakistan remains in the mainstream of our debate on the war on terror. Pakistan has deployed more than 90,000 security forces on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border, with more than 900 checkpoints to stop cross border movement of Afghan-Taliban and other miscreants. Pakistan received a death toll of 1200 security forces in tribal areas during the ongoing war on terror and hundreds of civilians and police in the settled/urban districts.

A cascade of suicide attacks in 2007 horribly terrorized the nation and literally paralyzed the local administration. The general public has greater grievances against the western nations, especially the USA which along with Nato forces carries out unnecessary airstrikes on Pakistan tribal areas, on the pretext of ‘actionable-intelligence’ against Al-Qaeda stalwarts, the results of which have never been tangible and visible. Rather, the illiterate tribal people and other population of the country take it for unwarranted instigation and looking for lame excuses to attack Pakistan’s tribal territories, most often, allegedly pushed by some unfriendly elements. Pakistan’s tribal areas (seven Tribal Agencies and six Frontier Regions) are usually described by the US as ‘safe-haven’ for Al-Qaeda, which is strongly rebutted by the government and general masses. There might be some Afghan-Taliban elements in these areas, who might have been hiding in the rugged mountains of the tribal belt, but it is not acceptable that they can visibly operate or organize their activities in any part therein. The US/Nato airstrikes on Pakistan’s tribal areas have never been a success in chasing and hitting any high valued target so far. All their claims are debated and challenged.

Some times innocent children, women, and Pakistan’s security forces are hit and killed, as often happen in Afghanistan as a result of ‘unintentional’ and ‘friendly fire’!Unfortunately, no one has undeniable facts and figures about the various kinds of Taliban and there is no good research about their organization, structure, style finances, strength, weaknesses and gradual infiltration, tactical retreat, and resurgence. This development at the international scene has made things worse for the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the country, especially the police who have never been trained and equipped to deal with terrorist activities suicide bombing, and IEDs. The unofficial statistics for terrorist activities are much higher than the official figures. However, we still rely on the statistics provided by the National Police Bureau in its report on the National Public Safety Commission. Figure-I gives details of these terrorist activities and bomb blasts and the passage below gives a comprehensive account of all other recorded and cognizable crimes throughout the country. Figure-I As many as 537866 cases were registered in the country during 2006 as compared to 447745 cases recorded during 2005 thereby showing an increase of 90111 (20. 1%) cases.

Punjab registered a rise of 66306 (24%) cases, Sindh 10520 (22. %) cases; NWFP 11612 (11. 2%) cases, Baluchistan 1137 (16. 9%) cases, Islamabad 556 (14. 7%) cases and AJK 376 (7. 9%) cases. However, there was a decrease of 159 (5. 5%) cases recorded by Railways police, and 237 (12. 8%) cases in Northern Areas.

Murder: showed a rise of 266 (2. 7%) cases in the country including 22 (0. 4%) cases in Punjab; 151 (8. 2%) cases in Sindh; 50 (2. 3%) cases in NWFP; 34 (11. 7%) cases in Baluchistan and 38 (48. 7%) cases in AJK while there was a decrease of 34 (26. 8%) cases in Northern Areas.

Attempt to Murder: a rose by 691 (5. %) cases in the country; 371 (5. 2%) cases in Punjab; 143 (5. 9%) cases in Sindh; 102 (3. 9%) cases in NWFP; 64 (22. 1%) cases in Baluchistan; 31 (29. 2%) cases in Islamabad and 32 (9. 3%) cases in AJK while there occurred a decrease of 59 (42. 1 %) cases in Northern Areas.

Rioting: showed a rise of 710 (22. 4%) cases in the country including 30 (19. 7%) cases in Punjab; 486 (21. 5%) cases in Sindh; 93 (30. 2%) cases in Baluchistan and 126 (40. 5%) cases in AJK while there was a fell of 22 (23. 4%) cases in Northern Areas. Assault on Public Servants: increased by 700 (21%) cases in the country including 235 (19. 1%) cases in Punjab; 409 (31. 1%) cases in Sindh; 21 (5. 9%) cases in NWFP; 8 (5. 4%) cases in Baluchistan and 45 (42. 1%) cases in AJK while there occurred a decrease of 10 (10. 6%) cases in Northern Areas.

Zina: crime recorded under this head rose by 116 (5. 8%) cases in the country; 80 (5.7%) cases in Punjab; 60 (30. 8%) cases in Sindh and 11 (15. 3%) cases in Islamabad while there was a fall of 13 (19. 7%) cases in Baluchistan and 14 (66. 7%) cases in Northern Areas. Kidnapping/Abduction: showed an increase of 1320 (15%) cases in the country; 1052 (15. 3%) cases in Punjab; 98 (7.7%) cases in Sindh: 52 (11. 5%) cases in NWFP; 53 (59. 6%) cases id Baluchistan; 8 (72. 7%) cases in Islamabad. 12 (100%) in Northern Areas and 50 (44. 6%) cases in AJK.

Kidnapping for Ransom: rose by 70 (32.3%) cases in the country including 23 (20. 5%) cases in Punjab; 23 (36. 5%) cases in Sindh; 21 (77. 8%) cases in NWFP and 4 (50%) cases in Baluchistan.

Suicide: showed a rise of 24 (14. 6%) cases in the country. There were an increase of 9 (225%) cases in Punjab and 15(11.1%) cases in Sindh.

Highway Dacoity: increased by 20 (21. 3%) cases in the country. There were an increase of 12 (54. 5%) cases in Sindh and 8 (100%) cases in Baluchistan.

Other Dacoity: increased by 478 (21. 1%) cases in the country including 247 (16.7%) cases in Punjab; 207 (30. 1%) cases in Sindh; 22 (78. 6%) cases in Baluchistan and 12 (100%) cases in Islamabad.

Highway Robbery: a rose by 63 (41. 2%) cases in the country; 43 (34. 4%) cases in Punjab; 10 (76. 9%) cases in Sindh and 10 cases in NWFP.

Other Robbery: showed a rise of 2411 (19. 7%) cases in the country; 1640 (18. 7%) cases in Punjab; 722 (23. 8%) cases in Sindh and 70 (89. 7%) cases in Islamabad while there occurred a decrease of 16 (11. 9%) cases in NWFP and 7(11. 5%) cases in AJK.

Motor Vehicle Theft/Snatching: increased by 3056 (18. 7%) cases in the country including 1587 (16. 6%) cases in Punjab; 1107 (20. 9%) cases in Sindh; 64 (12. 6%) cases in NWFP; 181 (41%) cases in Baluchistan; 93 (22. 9%) cases in Islamabad; 11 (57. 9%) cases in Northern Areas and 9 (10.2%) cases in AJK.

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