Pakistan’s daily deteriorating law and order situation, especially in the strategic province of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is reinforcing the world’s perception of Pakistan as a failed state. The situation has come to such a head as no day passes by when there is a suicide bomb blast, targeted killing or kidnapping for ransom. Pakistan, it seems has become a haven for all the anti-social elements from all over the world.
The two provinces KP and Balochistan are especially at the mercy of these criminals, operating under the guise of jihadi fighters or fundamentalist groups. These provinces are of special interest to these militant outfits because they share a long porous border with the neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran. So, whenever they carry out their nefarious designs in these provinces these law breakers are quick to exit Pakistan and enter Afghanistan or Iran.
The City of Karachi, the commercial hub of Pakistan is slowly but surely being talibanized. The coalition government of the opposition Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and their partner Mutthaida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have failed miserably in stemming the law and order situation in the capital city of the Sindh Province. Both these parties have time and again reiterated that soon they will be able to come up with a concrete solution that is effecting their province, especially the city of Karachi and time and again they have made political statements, issued press releases and communiques to this effect. To the contrary, the ongoing Lyari gang war emphasizes the fact that the government has no writ in some areas of the city, strange because not only the police but contingents of the Rangers have been deployed in Karachi for over three decades, but their presence seems to make no difference to these elements and the daily deteroriating law and order situation in Pakistan.
The fourth province comprising the federation of Pakistan is Punjab. It is under the rule of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML_N), the same party that is in power in the center, but the law and order situation in Punjab is no better than the other three provinces. Punjab it is important to mention shares a large and porous border with India. Both these countries have fought three wars since partition in 1947, over the disputed region of Kashmir.
The most sensitive of the four provinces in the ultimate analysis is KP, the erstwhile North West Frontier Province. On the west it shares border with Afghanistan, to the north it shares the border with China and in the east lies the arch rival India. This province is also very important as the Karakorum Highway passes through it. The Karakorum Highway or more popularly known as the silk road is the economic life-line between Pakistan and China. It is a wonder of the world because the huge mountains that have been carved to make this road and is a living testament to the ingenuity of the Chinese and the Pakistani engineers.
Pakistan is blessed, especially the province of KP is a treasure trove of some of the most valuable and rare minerals, including uranium, but because of the every day deteriorating law and order situation, no government in Pakistan has been able to harness these resources to uplift the living standards of the common man. In complete contrast every government in power has vowed to normalize the security issue in the country and it goes without saying that each successive government has failed miserably to improve the daily deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan.
An Op-ed written by: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada