Published in The Nation newspaper on 01-Jan-2013
ISLAMABAD – It took chief of Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ICTP) 12 months to finally admit that his force has badly failed to bring down crime rate in the city that was supposed to be country’s most peaceful city.
“Islamabad police arrested 270 car thieves and traced a total of 251 vehicles which were lifted from various places of Islamabad,” IG Islamabad told journalists on Monday admitting that city has been in the grip of auto thieves during 2012 despite tireless efforts made by the police teams to keep the thieves at a bay.
The police chief’s bold statement came as a surprise for the newsmen from both the electronic and print section who came to attend the press conference keeping in view that the police chief will narrate a story of achievement of his force throughout the year.
However, the police chief realised sensitivity of his statement (that the city remain in grip of auto-thieves in 2012) in a few minutes and tried to make the journalist understand how difficult it was to be a policeman in present circumstances.
“Policing has become very much tough job in the present situation. You should appreciate those performing well as the ratio of total traced cases is really appreciable,” the IGP said during the press conference.
The Islamabad Capital Territory police chief, however, did not disappoint the journalists who were expecting to hear a story of ‘ achievement of ICT police during 2012).
While making laughable comments that crime rate was decreased during 2012, the IGP Islamabad said Islamabad police arrested 270 car thieves and traced a total of 251 vehicles, which were lifted from various places of Islamabad. However, he could not justify how did the gunmen manage to keep on harassing the citizen of Islamabad by hitting their targets even in broad daylight despite heavy deployment of policemen in the city throughout 2012.
According to IGP Islamabad, ICT police provided foolproof security to 48 international conferences, visits including the prestigious D-8 conference. Besides, 1136 movements of the VVIPs, foreign/missions, delegations and dignitaries were also provided foolproof security.
Apart from the loud claims made by the IGP Islamabad, citizens of Islamabad think otherwise. Utterly alarmed by the deteriorating condition of security, lawlessness and increasing rate of crime in the federal capital, Many in Islamabad believe that gone are the days when country’s first ever-planned city federal capital Islamabad used to be the safest city.
Instead, Islamabad is now fast track to get entry into lists of most dangerous cities of world with high rate of target killings, blind murders, kidnappings and car snatching — thanks to Islamabad Capital territory police whose chief did not get tired while narrating a story of achievements his force during last press briefing of year 2012.
Residents of Islamabad feel more insecure than ever before. They argue if the police are only there to tease the common public instead of paying heed to control target killings and blind murders.
“Year 2012 has left a question mark on the performance of Islamabad capital territory police. What we had learned during 2012, is that criminals can strike anywhere in the federal capital passing through a huge number of police pickets installed across the city and fled the scene without being intercepted by policemen,” Khalid Naveed, a permanent resident of Islamabad remarked.
It is pertinent to mention here that last couple of years including 2012 turned to be worse even for the diplomats and foreign national residing in Islamabad.
However, IGP Islamabad could not face the media men who asked why did his police fail to provide foolproof security to diplomats and foreign nationals.
On 8 December 2012, the diplomat of Bangladesh was latest high profile personality who was looted in one of the posh sector of federal capital where Islamabad Capital territory police claim to have made foolproof security arrangement keeping in view movements of VVIPs and diplomats.
On 29 December 2010 gunman intercepted the charge’d’affaires of Denmark and deprived him of Rs18, 000. Jens-Jacob Simonsen, who was serving as the acting ambassador of Denmark in Pakistan that time, was returning home in his private vehicle after visiting a shop at Super Market (a posh area and high security zone) when he was intercepted by four persons riding in a white car with a police revolving light.
The gunmen deprived him of his violet containing Rs18, 000 and identity cards and fled away.
On Wednesday, 25 July 2012, Unknown thieves took away Rs 0.35 million and a laptop from the house of Thomas Simmon, a British diplomat in Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad’s high security zone where common people have no access. However, thieves managed to force their entry into house of French diplomat and fled away taking valuables.
As it was not enough, thieves struck again on 13 January 2012, however, this time their target was an Italian diplomat’s house located in Sector G-6/4, a posh sector and high security zone. Thieves deprived the diplomat at gunpoint and looted Rs200, 000, two mobile sets, a laptop from the house and escaped from the scene.
However, the IGP Islamabad remained tight-lipped when asked how did the thieves manage to loot the foreign national and diplomats even in most secured and posh sectors of Islamabad.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 01-Jan-2013