Stories about police

Why Karachi police fails to convict its criminals

Karachi is at siege by an array of criminals such as the Taliban and from splinter groups with political support. Over 2,200 people were victims of homicide in the city last year – the highest number in nearly two decades. Yet relatively only a few of those killings were successfully investigated and prosecuted. Ali Sher Jakhrani, a legal advisor to the police, says that over the last few years, about 23% of murder investigations led to a conviction.  A 2011 report by Pakistan’s Human Right Commission put the number as low as 10%. The upsurge of violence in the city has led ...

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Why do pickpockets go scot-free?

Embarking on an assignment to investigate a crime, I became the victim of a pickpocket. These days, the twin cities are in the grip of this age-old social evil plaguing our society, especially the poor vulnerable class using public transport. Though I have had the experience of falling victim to pickpockets many a times, this time it was coupled with embarrassment. More often than not, it is old men, women, pensioners, careless youth and the salaried passengers who become the target of the expert pickpockets. The last time, they had taken away all the cash I had on me, my cell ...

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The young criminals of underprivileged Karachi

It has been seven years since I’ve been running an educational institute for women and children in Baldia Town, Karachi. I’ve studied the people carefully and my basic aim is to spread general awareness amongst the underprivileged residents of this area. During my experience, I learnt that the rate of crime in most of these areas is higher as compared to the rest of Karachi. Many young boys, ranging in age from 12 to 18 years, are trained to leak secret information that could be helpful in executing crimes. These boys usually drop out of school after the eighth standard, and ...

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The comparative disadvantage of poll violence

Pundits have long predicted a blood-stained run-up to election day. So far, candidates recovering from a gruelling scrutiny process and an equally tiresome ticket awarding process, kept electioneering to a minimum. But as we enter the last few weeks of campaigning, the need for public canvassing is forcing candidates to take to the streets. As aspirants reach out to their constituents, they are exposing themselves to a clear and present danger — the threat to their lives. This threat, posed by terrorist elements bent upon derailing elections, is particularly significant for those who belong to districts with a deteriorating security situation, ...

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Only in Pakistan!

As a comedian, especially if your style is based on observational humour, it’s important to have an eye for detail, as it meanders around the most trivial and insignificant aspects of everyday life. After spending almost three decades of my life in Pakistan, and seeing the society very up-close, I have come to the conclusion that amidst the swelling cacophony of the rising disorder that has befallen upon us, there still is a lot of humour embedded in many things that we may tend to ignore. So here’s a list of things we say/do that defines our behaviour individually or at ...

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While Karachi was shutting down, I learned a harsh lesson

I was on a bus going back home, when the bus was stopped near Mausamyaat Gulistan-e-Jauhar area and we were asked to step out of the bus due to the protest going on in the city. It was March 6, 2013; the time was 2:00pm. Though part of the public transport system, I expected that the bus drivers and conductors would show some responsibility on their own behalf, but the bus driver asked everyone to get out of the bus the moment he saw flames and heard firing heading his way. I can’t blame him though; in times like today people ...

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I am a victim of the infamous Black Prado: Here is my story

They followed me. They stopped my car.    Is this the Prado incident everyone is talking about? It was past midnight on a cold November night in 2012. I was returning home when my car crossed main Ittehad and went straight into Phase VIII, some 20 meters away from the first newly placed barrier. It was then that a policeman stopped our car, flashing his torch incessantly at the driver’s window. Being a woman, I did not expect to be stopped and I thought the minute the cop realised that I was in the car, he would gesture for us to go ahead. Strangely, this did not ...

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No sympathy for men

Picture this headline, “Married woman doused with acid by ex-boyfriend”. Now think, what would follow that little news item? TV cameras and reporters would surround the victim, while NGO personnel, politicians, and every self-proclaimed human rights activist in town would be running to the cameras to show how evil the incident was and wail over the state of our society and the state of human rights. When it came to light that the police never collected physical evidence and never properly recorded the co-accused’s statements, thus eliminating any chance of a conviction, everyone would have a field day screaming about the fact ...

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Apparently ‘Pakistani’ in French means ‘terrorist’

I experienced it again yesterday; I re-lived what it feels like to be accused – accused when you don’t even know why you are being charged. Again, I lived through the humiliation of someone pointing his finger at me and saying,  “Hey you… You look like a terrorist.” The temperature in Lille was cold; six degrees below the freezing point, to be exact. The behaviour of the four men around me was colder. I had noticed them the moment I had gotten off the train that had brought me back to Lille from Paris. I thought that I was being over imaginative ...

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Police powers to FC in Balochistan: A futile measure

In Balochistan, the police are currently enjoying additional powers under the Police Act of the British colonial days to raid, arrest, detain and prosecute anyone found violating the laws of the land. The police enjoy the power to search any suspected place where criminals are hiding illegal weapons, narcotics and other contraband goods. When violent incidents increased in the province, mainly through the targeted killing of Hazara Shias by terrorists in Quetta and its outskirts, the provincial government gave police powers to the Frontier Corps (FC) to raid, arrest, detain and question suspects involved in targeted killings and other heinous ...

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