It is estimated that in Karachi alone, some 300,000 vehicles go about using illegal number plates of various shades. Most impersonate government vehicles by using plates with green background and Government of Sindh written on them. This gives them the license to violate traffic rules, not pay taxes and access secure areas without being questioned by the police. There are also those who use VIP looking, fancy and self-projecting number plates carrying either a family name or a fake number. The police is too timid to check, as their owners largely come from the same class that also rules the country. There are yet other law breakers who carry no number plates at all. These belong to the highest in power and authority – or simply top of the line crooks.

Any ordinary citizen can use his phone to log on to E&T website to identify if a vehicle is registered or not and the nature of ownership – private or government. The provincial police regretfully has not developed even this basic capability. The government departments such as Excise and Police, responsible to curb these crimes remain confined within their narrow territorial mandates – leaving an open space to criminals to operate freely. How come the NAP at the Federal level and the police in the provinces remain so utterly indifferent and apathetic about thousands of vehicles that blatantly indulge in crime and lawlessness? There is something seriously wrong with a state engaged in fighting a war against terror but unwilling to check what could be easily detected by a half blind person from half a mile.


Lahore, February 13.