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Crime unlimited

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  • Crime unlimited

    Our society is becoming harder and harder to fathom. Each time a crime takes place, it is followed by wild conjecture as to who is responsible and why. The whole process is rather like a wild guessing game, with no assurance that the true answers will be found. We live in lawless times when guns rule and there is no sense of security for anyone. The gangs of criminals that operate are, meanwhile, adopting more and more sophisticated methods, moving far ahead of the law enforcers who seem unable to match their skill or technique.
    Immediately after the kidnapping of US aid expert Dr Warren Weinstein in the middle of August and that of the son of the late Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz, a few weeks later, investigators say both men were captured by criminal gangs who then ‘sold’ them to yet another gang of hardened criminals specialising in kidnappings for ransom. The two men, the investigators say, have now been whisked away to an area beyond the reach of security agencies, presumably in the tribal belt. Admitting they are effectively helpless, law enforcers have little to offer the families. They suggest they should wait for a ransom demand and then negotiate with the kidnappers.
    This is not very encouraging. Paying ransom — as the families of other victims have done in the past — can only encourage more abductions, no matter how quietly the cash is handed over. It is also not reassuring to know our agencies can do nothing to help the victims of crime against powerful gangs who may or may not be linked with the Taliban. Some reports have spoken of a percentage of proceeds from such crimes going to militants and helping them fund their own activities. Who knows what the precise truth is. But for all of us, foreigners and locals alike, it is hardly comforting to know that the police and other agencies can do nothing to protect us and, for all practical terms, we live in times when we must act alone to save ourselves or see our loved ones whisked away, as Weinstein and Taseer were.
    Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, *2011.