Country Listing

Pakistan Table of Contents



Part of the responsibility for the deterioration of police performance has been a widespread increase in the amount of crime. New kinds of crime have developed--especially related to illegal drugs--and criminals have substantially greater firepower (see Narcotics , this ch.). Since the war in Afghanistan, Pakistan has been awash with guns. Kalashnikov automatic weapons have become ubiquitous and may be rented in Karachi on an hourly basis. In Karachi criminal violence, especially kidnapping for ransom and, in effect, open warfare among political groups, rendered the city so dangerous that in May 1992 the military had to be called in to launch Operation Cleanup to apprehend criminals and terrorists and to seize unauthorized weapons. Criminality extends into all levels of society. Known criminals have ties to political figures and are able to frustrate legitimate attempts to enforce law and order. In early 1994, the army was still activity involved in law enforcement in Sindh.

Crime statistics are reported but cannot be considered reliable. Throughout the 1980s, there appeared to be an incremental increase in the number of crimes reported each year. According to the Pakistan Statistical Yearbook, 1991, from 8,000 to 20,000 murders or attempted murders, 3,500 to 6,000 kidnappings or abductions, 100 to 600 robberies, and 120,000 to 250,000 other crimes were reported annually between 1981 and 1990.

Data as of April 1994