Kidnapping central

The Express Tribune

The recent kidnapping of three bankers, two of them from the State Bank, all of whom have as yet not been found, highlights the fact that such cases are, unfortunately, commonplace in Karachi. According to reports, police fear that the bankers who went missing on May 31 have been abducted for ransom. The conclusion is reasonable, given that over the past year kidnappings, especially for ransom, have hit an all-time high. In 2010 alone, the figure hit more than 100. Such kidnappings are often used to extort exorbitant sums of money, usually from families of industrialists.

Since the trend of kidnappings began in the 80s, the situation has become much worse.

Since the trend of kidnappings began in the 80s, the situation has become much worse, and it has now become increasingly difficult for police and investigation units to profile kidnappers, given that they stem from a wide range of sources, ranging from common criminals to deadly terrorists. A case in point is the Taliban who are said to raise a considerable amount to fund their activities through such kidnappings, indicating that the network is spread across the country, from the tribal areas of Waziristan to the metropolitan Karachi. Some kidnappers are even protected by the political parties that they are affiliated with, placing further hurdles when authorities try and put them behind bars, and this situation must change. Political parties must unequivocally stop supporting violence of any kind, to show their commitment to improving the law and order situation.

According to a report, over the past 20 years a little more than 50 per cent of cases of kidnapping have been resolved. Moreover, given recent figures which show that Karachi has one policeman to protect every 2,000 citizens or so, one can expect little protection from the police, and in this dismal situation private security seems to be the only answer. Moreover, even when the police manage to capture criminals, they are often let go by the justice system due to lack of evidence. The police force, therefore, desperately needs funds to expand its numbers to protect the people. That, however, is not the only issue. Another major factor in the increasing number of kidnappings is the easy availability of weapons to criminals. The city must be deweaponised so that it becomes difficult for criminals to get their hands on weapons and terrorise citizens at will.


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