Totally in contrast to the dictum ‘it is better to prevent a crime than to punish’, the strategies being followed by our law enforcement agencies aim more to giving the criminals a chance to commit crimes than apprehend or prevent crime in the first place. Ethically and professionally law enforcing institutions do share a major responsibility to maintain law and order in the country.

A non-profit organization striving for ecological co-existence of wild species, convinced the locals and declared an agricultural land spanning 5,000 sq km as ‘No Hunting Zone’ in distt. Dera Ismail Khan. The organization, ‘Conservation of Flora and Fauna (COFF)’ further aimed to work on making it a model wildlife sanctuary and initiated a massive drive for creating awareness among public about eco-friendly practices, environmental ethics. The organization’s revolutionary steps remained instrumental in turning once a wildlife-trapping zone to a safer breeding environment for wild partridges and migratory birds.

This NGO stayed successful to a larger extent in convincing the locals about the benign results of safer breeding. Owing to limited funds and non-profit nature of the NGO, protection of the premises was shared by the local volunteers. The area bordering the tribal belt was susceptible to crimes and witnessed plenty of incidents i.e. kidnap for ransom, snatching at gunpoint and show of weaponry etc during past.

An unfortunate incident happened when a social worker of the NGO was to be kidnapped from the premises. The kidnappers battered his personal guards and were successful in taking Mr. Aziz Jan at gunpoint. While the attackers were trying to escape the area the local police foiled their kidnapping attempt. Here, performance of the local police should be lauded but such mishap pose questions about the government institutions’ ability to prevent illegal settlers and stop them from possessing illegal weapons. The area has in the past witnessed intrusion into agricultural and residential property of the locals and the intruders were found to be illegal occupants of nearby refugees’ camp.

There is an exigent need on the administration’s part to consider the protection of these novel conservation projects which the citizens initiate on their own and the associated persons. This stipulates an indiscriminate pre-crime browsing of illegal elements in the society and these further demands the topmost priority as prevention rather than cure which is also in conformity with the Police Act of 1861.

M R SHAH,

Dera Ismail Khan, January 19.