BEATING Lahore’s other issues, the rise in its crime rate has assumed alarming proportions. There is no denying that the Lahore police have partially, if not totally, failed in performing their duties. That the situation is worsening is testified to by the fact that the inspector general [of the Lahore] police sought proposals for improvements in the law and order situation at a recent conference…. Robbers are roaming about freely despite police patrols and pickets. On the night of Independence Day, a robbery was committed at a petrol pump on busy Lawrence Road. Its cashier was shot dead on the spot for putting up resistance. … [T]he robbers escaped unchallenged.
Conditions have reached such a pass that motorists are not sure whether or not they will be able to reach their destinations without being waylaid. …Robbers don’t even spare cyclists. In another incident that took place at Samanabad’s Shabab Chowk, again on Independence Day, robbers tried to snatch the cellphone of a newspaper hawker riding a bicycle. Walid, 22, resisted and the robbers opened fire at him. He is fighting for his life in Services Hospital.
The police have for the past few weeks been conducting the traditional ‘encounters’ to control crime but positive results are still awaited. Everyone is worried about the law and order situation… Locating the roots of the crime is the job of those at the helm. We can only suggest that instead of raising the slogan of changing the ‘thana culture’, they should observe [the principles of] merit while posting police officials. The situation can immediately be improved if steps such as stopping political interference and giving a free hand to the police are taken. Otherwise, the citizens of Lahore will continue to be robbed …. —(Aug 20)
Selected and translated by Intikhab Hanif.