Punjab is the most violent province in Pakistan, or so the data collected by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in 70 districts across the country suggests.
According to the report, 78% of the total 1,063 FIRs filed for crimes against women were registered in Punjab, 11% in Sindh, 8% in KP, 2% in ICT and 1% in Balochistan.
Moreover, out of the 215 reported cases of rape, 85% were in Punjab, 5% in Sindh and 4% in K-P. Ninety-five per cent of the total 253 FIRs registered against assault on women’s were reported in 25 districts in Punjab, while 2% were registered in four districts of K-P and four incidents each in three districts in Sindh and two in Balochistan.
The report stated that out of the 40 honour killings cases registered in 15 districts, 45% were reported in six districts of Sindh and 25% in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Sixty-five per cent of 409 FIRs registered in 29 districts against forced marriages were reported in nine districts in Punjab, the report stated.
In July, FAFEN monitors visited 70 District Police Officers’ (DPO) offices to collect information on 27 offences covered by the Pakistan Penal Code. They monitored 28 districts in Punjab, 18 in K-P, 12 in Sindh, 11 in Balochistan and one in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). They noted that 40,446 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered, of which 3% cases involved violence against women.
The report monitored 27 offences and categorised them into five categories: physical harm to persons, crimes pertaining to property, threat and fraud, crimes against women and other crimes.
Overall, almost 72% of the total 40,446 FIRs were registered in Punjab, followed by 17% in K-P, 9% in Sindh and 1% each in Balochistan and ICT.
However, the report said that relatively higher registration of cases in Punjab may be attributed to its high population, willingness of people to register FIRs and better response by the police and to the greater outreach of FAFEN monitors in Punjab.
Similarly, lesser registration of cases in Balochistan and K-P does not necessarily represent a low crime rate. It may be attributed to limited outreach of FAFEN, non-registration of cases by the victims, unavailable infrastructure or to people’s tendency to resolve their conflicts through informal structures like Jirgas.
Around 66% of the 4,756 FIRs of crimes involving physical harm to persons were registered in Punjab, 16% in Sindh and 14% in K-P. Similarly, 85% of the 8,073 property-related FIRs were registered in Punjab, 11% in Sindh, and 2% and 1% in K-P and ICT respectively.
Ninety-one per cent of the total 3,351 threat and fraud crimes were registered in Punjab, both K-P and Sindh claimed an equal share of 4%.
Monitored districts in Punjab reported 57% of the attempted murder and 46% murder cases. The report said 29% and 20% of all murder cases were reported in 12 districts in Sindh and 17 districts in K-P.
It added that nearly three fourths of all murder cases reported in Sindh were registered in Karachi district alone, attributing it to the wave of target killings along with its population density.
The report said theft, hurt, counterfeiting currency notes, robbery and dacoity and motor vehicle theft were among the 10 most frequent crimes while hurt, murder, attempted murder, theft and robbery and dacoity were the most widespread crimes in July 2011.
FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2011.