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Law and order in Sindh.

Law and Order in Sindh

Worsening Sindh situation was one of the factors motivated GIK to oust Ex-PM Benazir on August 6. Has the situation improved since then is a big question to be answered yet. Jam, the Chief Minister promised to resign if the situation was not improved within three months. About one third of the targeted period has gone leaving behind no visible improvement. And the dateline is not far ahead would he quit his job?

Recently announced punishments for kidnappings, constitution of an Anti-Dacoit Cell in Sindh to be managed by commandos to act independently and frequent reshuffle in the provincial administrative set-up highlight the gravity of the problem. The Sindh Government has utterly failed, despite the fact that the MQM-Jam coalition has an additional benefit of support by law enforcing agencies and MQM's control over Karachi and Hyderabad. Ofcourse ethnic violence in Karachi has subsided because of MQM factor. But the crime wave in Sindh has shown an upswing. According to police sources crimes have gone up from 35,848 in 1989 to 38,026 in the first 9 months of 1990.

Growing number of violence and kidnappings is a cause of concern for Nawaz Sharif. He is expected to visit Sindh in the first week of December and asked Jam to use all means at his disposal to curb violence and kidnapping. The Ex-Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo in a press conference stated "The Jam government has not been able to improve law and order situation in the province. Dacoities, kidnappings and the other heinous crimes in Karachi and interior Sindh are not being properly reported by the newspapers and the situation is getting from bad to worse". Mr. Junejo suggested distribution of sophisticated weapon to villagers to fight back criminals. Similar feelings about the law and order have been expressed by the Ex-Caretaker PM Jatoi, SNF Chief Mumtaz Bhutto, G.M. Syed and many others.

It is evident from the table that soon after the elections 105 persons were killed 127 kidnapped and dacoities to the tune of 16.57 million were committed from October 30 to November 30. These are the incidents reported in the newspapers, the actual figures escaped reporting is said to be greater. The incidents of kidnappings mostly took place in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Nawabshah and Dadu. Surprisingly out of 127 kidnapees mostly belonged to villagers. 4 businessmen and an insurance executive were kidnapped on November 4 and 13 respectively. Ten Cotton Export Corporation employees were kidnapped on Nov. 22 from Nawabshah. In Karachi the Managing Director of Millat Fan and a Navy Officer were kidnapped and shot dead. 6 cops and one ASI were killed in the interior. Manager of Hyderabad Electronics was abducted. The killing of a police Sub-Inspector in Karachi indicates that the police officials who are sincerely discharging duties risk lives. 4 MQM activists were shot dead in Pirjo Goth, Sukkur and Mehrab Pur. Dr. Danish, a MQM Councillor from Hyderabad, was critically injured.

Teachers, students and less social influence when kidnapped go unnoticed. The Kidnappers have extended their range and even middle class is not spared. A car belonging to the Sindh Labour Minister Abid Akhtar of MQM was snatched by four armed men. Additional Chief-Secretary of Sindh Ahmed Maqsood Hameedi was robbed of all valuables. The reported involvement of law enforcing personnel in these crimes has added new dimension to the problem. Car thefts are so common that they need not be mentioned . 230 cars and 345 motorcycles were snatched during November alone.

In Umerkot complete strike was observed on November 27 to protest against the increasing cases of kidnappings and other crimes. In Hyderabad chemists, druggists and medical stores observed complete strike on Nov 28 against murder and kidnappings. They staged protest rallies in front of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Press Club. The teaching staff of Karachi University went on strike because of the kidnapping of two teachers. In Larkana Sub-Engineers of Educational Works Programme went on strike due to the kidnapping of their colleague.

Dacoits had a complete sway over Tando Allahyar where Mehran Sugar Mills was twice attacked with rocket launchers. Former Sindh Minister Abdul Sattar Bachani has said "People of interior have become prisoners in their own homes and over 1000 families have migrated to safer places due to fear of dacoits". In Talukas of Hyderabad and Tando Allahyar 99 % zamindar have received letters from dacoits to pay protection money or face consequences". According to reports pitched encounters were taken place between the dacoits in interior in which rocket-launchers, hand-grenades and machine guns were used leaving behind a large number of casualties.

The substantial increase in police expenses failed to control the situation. The expenditure on Sindh police has increased over 100%. According to a report it was Rs. 600 million in 1985-86 which has gone over Rs. 1.19 billion in the current fiscal year besides special allocations made from time to time. Deployment of law enforcing agencies and formation of Mujahid Force would require more allocations.

The Sindh scenario is grim. Despite government measures the persistent deteriorating law and order situation in Sindh is miserably hampering economic activities apart from creating social unrest. It poses a constant threat to the present Government.
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Title Annotation:Sind Province, Pakistan
Author:Raza, Moosi
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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