Pakistan is one of the countries where state repression is rampant and law enforcement bodies have little respect for law. Here torture is not a crime, so to speak. With Pakistan joining US-led war on terrorism, the situation has been further marred with the violation of public rights. In most of the cases it is the poor who face the wrath of police and the law enforcement agencies.Torture in custody has become regular occurrence, more heinous, and more pernicious and has spread like cancer in the country. This situation is a further sign of the total collapse of rule of law in Pakistan and shows the need for strong political will to enforce drastic reforms. Through the years, reported cases of torture have increased. Whole families are often targeted, to threaten people or to extract bribes from them. Pakistan has endorsed the international covenant of civil and political rights (ICCPR) and the UN convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment (CAT). These political gestures by the government of Pakistan will not be sufficient to put an end to the use of torture, as this practice is deeply entrenched in the policing system.The country does not have any specific law relating to torture, though Article 14(2) of the constitution expressly prohibits the use of torture for extracting evidence. However, the definition of ‘torture’ is not satisfying and does not comply with that stated in the UN CAT. Pakistan has no independent agency whose mandate is to conduct an inquiry into complaints against crimes of torture. Therefore, there is a great need for criminalising torture. The Pakistan Penal Code must be reformed to efficiently punish torture as a heinous crime and provide compensation and reparation to the victims.ENG DILBAR DETHO, Shikarpur, September 12.