LAHORE - The rate of heinous crimes descends across the country particularly in the Punjab province after the government lifted a seven-year moratorium on executions and hanged six convicted terrorists since Friday.

As per crime figures, no major incident of crime or terror was reported in the country since Wednesday when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered to end a moratorium on the death sentence in terror-related cases. The PM’s announcement came a day after Taliban gunmen butchered 141 people including 132 schoolchildren in Peshawar.

Law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies were put on their toes after the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history, which triggered worldwide revulsion.

At least six convicted terrorists have been hanged since Friday but the federal government is yet to decide about the fate of thousands of hardened criminals, who are on death row in country’s prisons.

According to the statistics collected from the daily crime report of the Lahore police, the incidents of armed robberies, killings, and kidnappings dropped to a considerable extent during the last week. The Lahore police reported three murder incidents separately during the last three days. In these cases, the victims were killed by their relatives over property dispute or love affairs. The police also arrested the killers soon after the incidents.

“We can’t say that the crimes rate has dropped permanently but we have noticed a significant fall (in the incidents of crimes),” according to an official.

Even the incidents of street crimes have decreased significantly. The police reported only 15 cases of robberies during the last four days in Lahore, where more than 20 armed robberies take place on daily basis.

Believe it or not, no incident of multiple killings, abduction for ransom, bank robbery or gang-rape has been reported in the Punjab province since Wednesday.

Some police officers say they believe the reasonable reduction in the crimes rate is because of the huge impact of the hangings of criminals. However, other policemen were of the view that the criminals had gone underground after the police and security agencies launched the security sweep to hunt down the suspected persons aggressively.

An official at the Punjab Central Police Office (CPO) says that the police have also reported a considerable decrease in the incidents of killings in the Punjab province, where 5269 murder cases were reported from January to October.

Since Friday, the law-enforcement and security agencies have arrested more than 300 people in a security sweep which is underway across the province. The operations involving house-to-house search and checking at surprise pickets, launched in the wake of the deadliest terror assault on the Army public school in Peshawar.

Crimes experts say the hardened criminals, who still operate from the prisons, should also be executed since they were awarded death sentence by the courts.

“We should not discriminate between criminals and terrorists. Both are criminals and should be punished as per law,” a security expert said.

Reportedly, 533 condemned prisoners including 76 terrorists are confined to the prisons.

Rights groups estimate that more than 8,000 prisoners are on death row in Pakistan and most of them have exhausted the appeals process. Officials said that the mercy petitions of at least 467 prisoners, who are death row in the country, had already been dismissed by courts.

Experts argue that the death penalty is the only effective way to deal with the scourge of rising crime and terrorism since the country’s criminal justice system is very complicated and slow. Protection for the witnesses, judges, and prosecutors is also a serious matter in the criminal justice system.

The police and security agencies were put on high-alert across the country amid Taliban threats. “Since the convicted terrorists are being executed in the country, the possibility of a backlash could not be ruled out,” officials say.

Hundreds of paramilitary troops along with gun-fitted vehicles were seen patrolling in the sensitive localities of the metropolis on Thursday. Heavy police contingents are also on-guard around key government installations and important facilities to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the miscreants.

Many officers argue that the new formula of executions has not only brought down the crimes rate in the crime-prone society but it also helps improve the worsening law and order situation. Instead of promoting fake police encounters to eliminate the gangsters, the government should take initiatives to hang the criminals.

Since January, at least 235 alleged criminals have been killed in police ‘encounters’ that took place or were staged in different parts of the Punjab province.