THERE has been a considerable rise in kidnapping cases in Pakistan over the last few years, echoing the situation that prevailed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. While many cases are resolved quietly, others end in tragedy. This was the sad fate of senior neurosurgeon and kidnap victim Dr Aftab Qureshi, who was killed when a rescue attempt went awry in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Several questions regarding the incident require further probing, such as how a man claiming to be a hostage managed to escape while the operation was under way. Also, there seems to be some disagreement between the Hyderabad police and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, which coordinated the effort, over the way the rescue attempt was carried out. Things can easily go wrong in such situations, and precisely because the risk factor is so high it is essential that rescue operations are meticulously planned.

Several doctors have been abducted in Sindh in the last month, while kidnappings in Punjab have also risen. Foreign aid workers and businessmen are among the targets. Along with criminal gangs, groups affiliated with the Taliban are believed to be involved in kidnappings for ransom; demands in this regard have also become exorbitant, with some groups demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars. The CPLC has done a commendable job in resolving many kidnap cases and safely rescuing abductees. Yet given the guile and ruthlessness of the criminals involved, it is essential that the authorities stay one step ahead. Experts say that a specially trained, well-equipped force is needed nationwide that can be deployed in hostage-rescue situations, since these operations are beyond the abilities of regular police personnel. If personnel untrained in this specific task are sent in, there can be loss of life, as was the case in Dr Qureshi’s killing, in which a police ASI was also gunned down. Patience is key, as rescue attempts can never be rushed, while the authorities need to make full use of technology to neutralise criminals and pinpoint their whereabouts. There is also a need for more trained negotiators to deal with the kidnappers in order to ensure the safety of abductees.

Updated May 31, 2012 09:06pm

More From This Section

ISI and media infighting

IN the bizarre, whiplash-inducing fallout of the Hamid Mir shooting, an alarming new twist has occurred: the ...

MQM in government again

THE MQM’s decision to join the Sindh government is not altogether surprising. The love-hate relationship that it...

Men planning families

AFTER decades of witnessing the country struggle to bring its burgeoning population figures under control, with ...

Militant groups in Punjab

THE Punjab government, in response to a report in this newspaper, has furnished statistics pertaining to the last ...

Comments (5) (Closed)


Ahmad Ali
Jun 01, 2012 05:26am
Are these type of criminal activities resembles with what we see in movies more often? Are these all culprits involved and linked with police and other security agencies? If not then why don't we ever get to hear these culprits are hanged to death? Law makers are law breakers in this country. Who is going to make things right? Should start from our own homes...
Inayat Ali Gopang
Jun 01, 2012 05:30am
It is dire need of hour to take some effective strategies to maintain the law & order situation across the country, because there are many cases which are not recorded due to many fears. kidnapping seems high day by day and the common citizens, especially who could not afford security and are the sole bread earners of their families are very depressed and under the situation of constant fear and threat. Therefore, the concerned authorities must devise such policies related to the law & order, so that everyone can feel better and safe. The responsible institutions such as police must be citizen-centric and their capacity must be built in order to facilitate citizens and ensure the peaceful environment. The culture of political influences, corruption and abseentism in the society particularly in the security responsible institutions should be eradicated, so that system can be run smoothly. It is hoped that responsible authorities would take necessary actions for ensuring the better law & situation in the society. In this regard, media should also play its role very effectively to report and highlight the issues with following the objectivity.
Malak Ghulam
Jun 01, 2012 04:20pm
What makes the PRESIDENT, The Prime Minister, The Chief Justice of All Courts, the Generals Like Ashraf Kiyani, and all other Leaders safe? But the Common Citizen unsafe? Is the Life and Blood worth more for the above mentioned people then common citizens. And yes some of this very Common Citizens have Skill Sets that are Highly Needed in Pakistan. Dr. Aftab Qureshi could have easily found economic opportunities in Safer Parts of this world; like GCC, Europe, North America etc. But he choose his HOMELAND PAKISTAN and there he found no use for his Skill Sets. Is this Really a Muslim Country? Islam values Intellect and Knowledge. Please in the name of ISLAM fix All the Problems; PLEASE.
Razzaq
Jun 01, 2012 07:52pm
Pakistan is ruled by mafias and they operate in every field. I watched a tv program yesterday regarding extortions in karachi, interesting enough the participants clearly accused the law enforcing authotities of coloborating with criminals. This was done in the presense of prominant people representing the government,police and CPLC.
Syed. Nasir Mehdi
Jun 01, 2012 11:14pm
I fully endorse the views of writer