The gruesome killing of Mr Niaz A. Niak, our former Foreign Secretary, speaks volumes about lack of law and order in Islamabad. Ghastly murders like this, of couples, loners and elderly, even in the posh F7 sector, were never uncommon. The Islamabad capital police puts the annual murder rate in ICT at about 140 but it is quite well known that the actual figure is at least five times that. To ascertain true homicides rate of Islamabad, one has to scan five type of records, namely: 1. Hospital casualty postmortem and injury register, 2. The 1-5 rescue call register, 3. Edhi ambulance service record, 4. Local Thana Roznamchas and the police wireless communications record 5. And finally, interviews with local graveyard diggers and Hospital CMOs. The "unknown dead body lying in the open" find rate in Islamabad for each of the 14 thanas of ICT is between zero and three or more per week. A large number of these are actually homicide. Strangely enough only 75 or so murder cases are in session courts. So summarizing actual suspected murder rate in ICT is about 500 per year, ICP accepts about 140 per year as the real figure and in courts there are only half of these i.e 75. Only every fifth or sixth murder is brought to some serious query. -M. SHAIKH, Islamabad, via e-mail, August 10.