THE deteriorating situation of law and order in Sindh, particularly in Ghotki and Shikarpur areas, has added to the tension that is part of life in interior Sindh. Armed bandits have been ruling these areas for many years. These areas are considered ‘no-go’ zones despite the presence of the personnel of law-enforcement agencies.

With the police force preferring to turn the proverbial blind eye, kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative business for the outlaws. Half-cooked, half-hearted police actions against the criminals actually strengthen them. The kidnappers now torture their hostages and post their videos on social media. Everybody knows what is going on, but police and other relevant authorities are apparently unaware.

There are multiple reasons that sustain the larger bandit culture in Sindh. The wretched troika of the police force, the dacoits and the tribal chiefs is generally believed to be the biggest factor behind pervasive lawlessness. There is no other way to explain how advanced weapons reach the hideouts of the criminals.

The sustained silence and ‘helpless-ness’ of police raise questions over the credibility of the force. Despite having numerical supremacy, modern weapons and technology, it fails to have any impact on the situation. As a result, the dacoits continue to keep vast areas under siege.

There is an urgent need for a military operation to ensure that the writ of the state is not challenged, and the people of such troubled areas may live in peace.

Hyder Abbasi
Larkana

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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