Counter-Terrorism: Safety In The Urban Jungle

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July 29, 2014: In Pakistan the army has finally gone in to shut down the Islamic terrorist sanctuary in North Waziristan (on the border of eastern Afghanistan). Not only will this operation reduce Islamic terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan and internationally, but it is, as the Pakistanis hoped, also reducing the skyrocketing number of murders (mostly connected with Islamic terrorism) in Karachi, the largest city (14 million) in Pakistan. Karachi contains eight percent of the nation's population and accounts for a quarter of the GDP. Over the last few decades it has attracted a lot of tribal people (mostly Pushtun) from the northwest and Afghanistan. These poor and uneducated tribals now account for 14 percent of Karachi’s population and a much larger percentage of those committing serious crimes. Consider that in the first six months of 2014 258 people were killed by police. Most of the dead were Islamic terrorists, plus a large minority of common criminals and some innocent civilians. That was 35 percent more in the first six months of 2013. At the same time 75 policemen were killed. Overall 1,557 were killed in Karachi during those six months. Most of those were civilians, many the victims of religious or political feuds.

The Pakistani government has been desperate to reduce the killings in Karachi, which have become a morale problem for police and civilians plus it’s bad for business. The police long believed that much of the increased violence was the result of more criminals and Islamic terrorists coming out of the tribal territories of the northwest and heading for Karachi. That’s where the money was and it was actually a better place to hide out than the tribal territories, where the American UAVs and other intelligence gathering effort could more effectively track you down and kill you. There were actually a lot more places to hide in the urban jungle that is Karachi. If the campaign in North Waziristan succeeds, as it appears to be doing, the police expect the unnatural deaths in Karachi to continue declining.

 

 


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