By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
The recent attacks on Peshawar Pakistan Air Force Base raise more questions about the competence of police and its related departments. Obviously it is police’s job to keep an eye on who is coming and going as well as criminal gangs in their respective areas. Terrorist cannot be launched from space ships?
It is true that at last someone in Pakistan have realised that corruption and terrorism are two sides of the same coin. The recent successful operation against corruption and terrorism proved that ‘real terrorists’ were sitting somewhere else in Defence and Clifton. I have studied the profiles of target killers and terrorist arrested and interviewed by the police which suggests that most of them were from very poor families and joined in MQM-A or Taliban in case of Sawat due to the injustice of the local lords and their feelings of helplessness and humiliations. These feelings of humiliations and revenge come when young people are left to the whims of local lords or drug dealers and corrupt politicians. When these young people go to the local police a single phone call from ‘monthly payer’ drug dealer or land mafia is enough to humiliate and insult.
The point is that police in Pakistan have emerged as a rented ‘mercenary force’ in government uniform and a tool in the hands of highest bidder. This ‘pay as you go’ police force have caused more military and civilian deaths in Pakistan than floods and earthquakes. This police is protecting the land mafias which is involved in terrorist financing.
When you study the terrorists arrested by the police and later released by the judiciary it boils down the in competence and corruption who fails to provide evidence or sometimes deliberately make very weak cases against them. Everyone knows police stations are sold for postings and bribes are paid in US dollars and those bribes goes up to the highest and sideways hence emergence of a corrupt ‘mercenary police’ emerged only interested in ‘money’. People see them with fear and don’t see a force who could help them. I have few police officers friends on my Facebook and people like their most stupid posts in hundreds and if they post their own photos they get ridiculously flattery comments. The reason people make these comments is because they feel ‘just in case’.
Anywhere in the world Armed Forces are called as a last resort to support in floods, natural disasters and extreme law and order situations. Pakistan is the only country in the world where politicians want to use the armed forces to fight criminals, mafias, and drug dealers.
Surely it is a job of the police to keep an eye on the terrorists and criminals but police are busy in protecting criminals’ land and drugs mafias in the cities and these are the mafias providing shelters to the criminals’ gangs as well as terrorists. Police corruption is at its peak due to patronage from the politicians from all the parties. One of the reasons that military and civilian causalities are too high in Pakistan is that police and relevant agencies network is compromised and corrupt.
In Pakistan during March 2008 – March 2013 democratic rule of PPP Zardari Regime when corruption and terrorism touched the sky, people of Pakistan and armed forces paid a very heavy price. Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shabaz Sharif ruling for over 35 years are much smarter than anyone else. They looted and destroyed the institutions systematically. Moving from a small modest house in Gawalmandi to a thousands of acre palace in Raiwind and properties in London in 35 years is not a miracle but corruption. So much so that Majid Nizami declared Nawaz Sharif a bigger security risk to Pakistan. Surely police and bureaucracy have played a great role in this corruption, loot and plunder of national exchequer.
These politicians and officials who let the corruption and mafias flourish did it by design and is not a mere coincidence? They have been successful in alienating and damaging two groups of people who are the backbone of Pakistan i.e. Armed Forces and Overseas Pakistanis. Armed forces and security forces were left vulnerable to deal with the land and Qabza mafias who are funding these terrorists attacking army. Similarly overseas Pakistanis who send billions of $ to Pakistan.
That is how terrorism and terrorists in Pakistan have become self-financing. On the one hand incompetent and corrupt police completely failed to protect the life and limbs of its citizens on the other higher judiciary has become ‘obsessed’ with the security institutions and armed forces personals. They have failed to monitor the lower judiciary, which is corrupt to bones and failed to provide justice. Where on earth we see lawyers going on Strikes and case adjourned dozens of time? They are paid agents of their clients who treat them like trash and behave like hooligans? Why don’t they chief justice of Supreme Court ban this striking culture?
That’s why people prefer to go to Taliban for justice or middle classes in cities to find a mafia don or biggest criminal for justice. Police however especially in Punjab collect money monthly from the mafias and gangs. It is police who have left public to the wolves.
These mafias have become national security threat to Pakistan. They are responsible for harbouring and financing terrorist as well as become tool for the foreign agents. Armed Forces are not deigned to fight with these mafias, which is fully backed, by judiciary and police. As a result we see jail breaks en mass, we see witnesses murdered, terrorist and criminals released and most worrying trend is that these mafias are now offering services to foreign powers and getting paid in foreign banks.
According to NCD (National Crime Data) in Pakistan from 2008 – 2013, more than 65,446 persons were murdered and 22,253 people were killed in road accidents. The NCD indicates that 1,366 women were gang-raped and 15,082 were raped while 2,640 people were kidnapped for ransom. Moreover 88,161 men and women were kidnapped or abducted during the political governments, which completed their tenure recently with much fanfare.
The 5-year crime statistics of the Punjab provided alarming figures indicating that total 723,051 criminal cases were recorded including 268,173 against person (52,219 in 2008, 51,898 in 2009, 53,958 in 2010, 56,701 in 2011 and 53,397 in 2013) and 454,878. Property crimes were – 81,546 in 2008, 85,110 in 2009, 91601 in 2010, 104242 in 2011 and 92,379 in 2012.
In Pakistan crime against person and property are on the rise the average of 24.12% as compared to the figure of 2007. Pakistan’s corrupt police and judicial system especially at lower level seemingly have contributed to the causalities among the armed forces fighting with the terrorists and security forces. Corrupt officials at all levels have made the infiltration of enemies with the ranks and files, which resulted in the huge increase in the deaths of armed forces.
Police corruption has made the job of the anti-terror personnel not only difficult but almost impossible with the emergence of various criminal mafias and syndicates. Terrorism in Pakistan is now self-financing through land grabbing, drugs, extortion and white collar crimes in stock exchanges, money laundering.
The point is that terrorists and criminals supporting them could have been detected, arrested and brought to justice had police and lower judiciary doing their job and not become a ‘sellable commodity’. More military lives could have been saved and incidents like mass jail breaks avoided. Some politicians are settling their scores with the Armed Forces following foreign agendas otherwise there was no reason in the increase of crimes by 24.12%. Crimes in Pakistan between: 2008 – 2013
According to National Crime Data in Pakistan 1,953,209 cases were reported in Punjab; 430,814 in Sindh; 658,386 in KP; 45,071 in Balochistan; 7,527 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 29,188 in AJK.
The NCD indicates that the crime in the country constantly increased with the average of 17.86% as compared to the figures of 2007. The crime against person and property shows upward trend with the average of 24.12% as compared to the figure of 2007.
Crimes like gang rape, kidnapping for ransom, bank robbery and other heinous offences created unrest and sense of insecurity among the people of the country. According to the National Crime Data (NCD), total of 3,170,889 offences, including 456,552 against persons and 611,852 cases against property, were recorded during the last five years 2008-2013.)
The democratic government have seen a phenomenal rise in heinous crimes all over Pakistan as the rulers in general have been busy in loot and plunder of the national wealth and in appointing their blue-eyed corrupt boys on every key position in almost every department including police.
All in all when crimes increase most affected are ‘middle classes’ and when they are threatened brain drain starts and ultimately country collapse like Iraq and Libya. It is middle classes who run the country and if you leave them to wolves they will leave. !!!
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University)
Views expressed are not of The London Post