VOLATILE LAW & ORDER SITUATION
Research Analyst, PAGE
Aug 2 - 8, 2010
Various untoward incidents of bomb explosions at the public places, suicide bombings by extremists, and killing of innocent civilians by the miscreants indicate that volatile law and order situation is gravely affecting social, political, economic, and religious fabric of Pakistan. This unwanted state of affairs has given birth to uncertainty and frustration, which are acting as blight in the society.
No public place is secure, no religious institution is safe, and no spiritual or political congregation is protected.
Pakistan's tourism industry is in the doldrums due to security concerns. Despite scenic beauty of hilly areas, glistening peaks, towering mountains, gushing rivers, archeological sites, and historical monuments, the PTDC and the tourism ministry have badly failed to catch the attention of the foreign tourists because no one will take risk to visit a country where people are not secure and its rulers address public gatherings behind bullet proof screens.
Pakistan has a lot of investment potential, which could not be fully tapped because of violent incidents. Therefore, the economy of Pakistan is in the shambles. The investors fear of sinking their investment due to unending terrorist incidents.
CAUSES OF CRIMES
Social environment motivates or encourages crime and criminal minds are cherished in the dysfunctional family conditions like parental conflict, lack of communication (both in quality and quantity), lack of respect and responsibility, abuse and neglect of children, and family violence.
PAKISTAN'S COST OF WAR AGAINST TERRORISM (RS IN BN)
YEAR DIRECT COST INDIRECT COST TOTAL COST 2004-05 67.103 192.000 259.103 2005-06 78.060 222.720 300.780 2006-07 82.499 278.400 360.899 2007-08 108.527 375.840 484.367 2008-09 114.033 563.760 677.793
NATURE OF TERRORISM
Tribal belt especially the North and South Waziristan Agencies have traditionally been a fertile land for militant activities. The area was used for recruitment, training and as a launching pad for operations against Russian forces during Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan in 1980s. After Taliban's defeat in 2001, the militants shifted to this area and started their activities against US/Nato forces. Since 2004, Taliban terrorist attacks and LEAs counterattacks have become a routine affair in Pakistan.
POVERTY & POOR ECONOMY
The worst victims of law and order as well as poor economy are always the poor. Their vulnerability to shocks is high. Therefore, it is imperative that the impact of law and order on economic situation must start with the most vulnerable in the society. In other words, no study of economic situation is complete without taking account of at least three interrelated economic indicators of poverty, unemployment, inflation, particularly food inflation.
There are positive correlations between crime and major economic variables: when there are negative trends in the economy (increase in inflation, poverty, unemployment, and decline in investment) there are negative trends in law and order (increase in crime rate).
It has been estimated by the economic survey that two thirds of the country's population lives on less than two dollar a day, with at least one third living below poverty line.
During the last eight years or so, the poverty in Pakistan has increased from 30 per cent in 1998-99 to almost one third in 2008-09, making another 16 million people the absolute poor. While incidence of poverty decreased between 2000-01 and 2005-06, the last few years witnessed an increase.
During the period of economic problems, the government should take the lead and start more public investments to provide a jump-start to the economic activities. Primarily, domestic investors must be encouraged and motivated to take the lead for the investment. The administration of governmental incentives to them should be more business-friendly.
Once, domestic investors start flourishing, it will encourage foreigners to invest in Pakistan as well. There is a need to improve business environment in the country, including the availability of educated and skilled manpower, ancillary industries and utility services. Continuous rise in the prices of petroleum products, electricity, gas and other utilities are also adversely affecting the business environment.
On the whole, the economy continues to face problems on internal front. Internal structural problems persist in the form of power shortages, law and order situation, and non-utilisation of domestic resources.
The government needs to reduce its dependence on the use of military force to address internal security issues, and should enhance the capacity of paramilitary forces i.e. rangers, the frontier corps, and other law enforcement agencies. This has emerged as a crucial issue in view of the high number of casualties caused during operational attacks in the KP and Fata. A better coordination among various agencies and law enforcement departments needs to be ensured. The government and media need to create more space for cultural and social activities, provide healthy activities for the youth and ensure proper utilisation of funds allocated for youth and cultural development.