ISLAMABAD: With Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif calling an end to Pakistan’s culture of violence in 2013, it (violence) has come down by three quarters in the last two years.
‘Violence has not just dropped a bit. It is down by three quarters in the last two years. The country is safer than at any point since George W. Bush launched his war on terror 15 years ago,’ said a report carried by The Spectator, a British weekly magazine.
According to the report, ‘the change can be dated to a special cabinet meeting called by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi in September 2013. At this meeting the PM called an end to Pakistan’s culture of violence….’
The Spectator quoting former Major-General Bilal Akbar, director-general of Sindh Rangers said, ‘In 2013 there were 2,789 killings in Karachi. In the first 11 months of 2016 there were 592. In 2013 there were 51 terrorist bomb blasts. Up to late November this year, there were two.’
‘Three years ago, Karachi suffered from an orgy of kidnapping for ransom. There were 78 cases in 2013, rising to 110 the following year. This year, there have been 19.’
‘Some 533 extortion cases were reported in 2013; in 2016, only 133. Sectarian killing is sharply down: while 38 members of the Shia minority…..were killed in 2013, that figure was down by two thirds in 2016.’
‘Just three years ago, according to the Numbeo international crime index, Karachi was the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Today it stands at number 31 – and falling,’ the report noted.
‘Six months after he ordered the Rangers into Karachi, Nawaz Sharif took an even more momentous decision,’ the report said, adding, ‘…He sent the army into North Waziristan, the Taliban stronghold on the Afghan border.’
In June 2014, General Raheel Sharif took charge of a massive military offensive, Zarb-e-Azb. ‘Taliban groups responded with a series of atrocities of which the most grotesque was the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, in which a reported 140 children were killed,’ the report said.
‘That stimulated the National Action Plan in January 2015, hailed by Prime Minister Sharif as the defining moment in the fight against terrorism. It established special military courts and outlawed terror groups.’
‘At the same time, the army stepped up its operations. According to official figures, it has killed about 3,500 Taliban fighters, destroyed 992 hideouts and cleared 3,600 square kilometers of territory. Nearly 500 soldiers have died,’ the Spectator report added. NNI