The son of the Chief Justice of Sindh was kidnapped at 2:30 PM on June 20, 2016 from an upscale and busy shopping area of Clifton in broad daylight. It was witnessed by shoppers, drivers and armed guards. No one came forward to help or report the matter to any law enforcement agency. The Sindh police got to know of this incident at 9:10 PM; six hours and forty minutes later, this time being long enough to relocate a person 300-400 Km away from the scene of the accident. The elapsed time adds mountains of complexity to any investigation.

It is unbelievable that a modern nuclear state such as Pakistan has such a dysfunctional social and governance system. Clearly the state has no interest in providing services to its ordinary citizens. There are at least two important concerns relating to this incident that merit serious inspection.

Why did the witnesses refuse to inform the police and why did it take the police six hours and forty minutes to learn about such an important incident? Clearly, the citizens were hesitant in interacting with the police. Moreover, it is usually perceived that a person reporting a crime would himself undergo a laborious and unfriendly process of police interrogation.

Unlike the rest of the world, Karachi has numerous emergency phone numbers with at least three phone numbers for major private ambulance services. Most countries of the world have a single phone number for all types of emergencies. The US and Canada use the same number 911 for crime, fire and ambulance. Almost all countries of Europe use 112 for all emergency situations. Is it too much to ask for a single emergency phone number that is common to all types of emergencies in all parts of Pakistan? An effective emergency reporting system could revolutionise the system of crime investigation.


Lahore, June 22.