Law and order is a nourishing root of the problem tree of Pakistan.
What is Law and Order?
Law and Order constitutes civil laws written in the constitution, its enforcement by the law agencies and prosecution of the offenders. Pakistan in its history has always faced this challenge,up till now governments have formulated norms but they lack implementation. People talk about improving law but they are first ones to break it.
Since independence Pakistan is facing Law and Order uncertainties.The strategic and geographical location of Pakistan is also one of the reasons behind the tensions as Pakistan and Afghanistan border is creating disturbance. Also the event of 9/11 and it’s aftermath has raised the law and order situation.
The situation has come to head after witnessing, no day passes by when there is a suicide bomb blast, target killing or kidnapping for ransom. Pakistan, it seems has become a haven for all the anti-social elements from all over the world.
We are fighting the war on terror having lost lives and infrastructure. The forces, police and civilians are being targeted everyday. Forces have managed to arrest terrorists but none of them has been sentenced. The reason they are let free is the lack of evidence.
How much evidence does our Law demand?
This question needs to be contemplated upon when it comes to the improvement of Law and Order.
Country’s Law and order situation arises when there is an internal insecurity due to host of factors like, religious/sectarian extremism, ethnic cleavages, external aggression etc. All these can exacerbate the conflict and affect the overall peaceful functioning of the society.
Terrorism and Crime are the two most important elements of law and order, due to its increase nation’s Peace, Law and Order deteriorates. Mostly crimes are committed by economic and poverty factors as well as social environment such as parental conflict, lack of communication, lack of respect and responsibility, abuse and neglect of children. Whereas terrorism and tribal activities have become routine affairs in Pakistan. North and South Waziristan have been a fertile land for tribal activities.
Not only this but also the fight between different political parties is affecting the peace as well. The target killing in some cities is also affecting peace like in Karachi, civilians are almost daily dying in target killing. The current law and order situation is extremely poor, the rate of foreign investment is reduced, even the law and order situation in Balochistan, Quetta and KPK is pitiable alarming. Almost daily many target killing incidents are observed. Recently, in Lahore bomb blast many people died. People of Pakistan are consistently facing security threats. A close watch from daily life routine that shows weakness of law, if you don’t have a license or you break any traffic rule, it is very easy to escape by just giving a small tip to the sergeant. Mostly police reaches the crime scenes as late as possible. Prosecution gets adjourned for long time. It takes months for small cases to finish. A student travels to his university, every single day he is the victim to robbery or mobile snatching on gun point, why should he wish to stay in Pakistan?
Law and Order situation and crime rates are increasing in Pakistan particularly in larger cities such as Karachi this has reached endemic proportions. Mobile snatching is a very common type of crime that causes both economic distress and terrorize the population. Stamping on crime will require creative and innovative use of available technologies.
There are lots of problems regarding law and order situation in Pakistan, such as terrorist attacks creates uncertainty in stock marks and people earning from stock are getting loss due to which whole country faces uncertain increase in commodity prices, local industries firms are unable to sign agreements with foreign investors due to prevailing law and order situation.
Moreover, terrorism includes a drop in the economy, exports affected also, sharp fall in government capital formation and private investment due to budgetary restrictions and increased uncertainty also, human costs rises such as increase in mortality, health nutrition and education standards falling plus heavy development costs due to destruction of capital and reduced investment.
Most vulnerable to the poor economy and law and order deterioration are the impoverished sectors of the society. Therefore it is very important to start with the most vulnerable and deprived sector of the society when it comes to finding solutions to these challenges. Studies indicates that present and already formulated policies do not work because of the lack of proper identification and understanding of aims and objectives. Gender imbalances and disparities between rural and urban also creates barriers to policy implementation and law framework.
Security apparatus are required in tribal areas like KPK in order to curb the issues of deterioration of law and order in vulnerable areas. There is a need of capacity building of intelligence agencies also there is a need for coordination among various agencies and law departments.
To infer, contrary to the popular misconception, there is, in fact a sound constitutional and legal system in Pakistan. The courts have become very much active in the past one decade. Due to widespread risk of media exposure, corrupt police officials also think thrice before they commit corruption.
However there is also a very negative political influence on police and judicial services and sometimes this creates situations where law and order seems to magically disappear as far as society bigwigs and their cronies committing crime are concerned.
There are legal remedies for this of course and the courts have taken such matters to task if only after the complains of the public.
*Myrah Qadeer Khan, MPhil in Media and Mass Communication