Personal & Corporate Security in the Current Environment

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Personal or, for that matter, Corporate Security is largely a matter of common sense particularly, in the backdrop of a local socio-economic and political environment. The role of the Law Enforcement Agencies, the District Administration and, in the overall context of the CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM; let me be very candid about it and admit that in this area of governance, the system has virtually collapsed. I do not wish to dwell on the causes of this situation because, I am sure, we are all too well aware of the same. Briefly, our experiments with various types of governments, more on the basis of expediency rather than in the long term interests of the country, is the main cause of the present day situation.

Coming now to the practical aspects of personal & corporate security in the current environment, but before doing so, I would like to sketch a quick picture of the current environment in Karachi. The city is loaded with weapons, both sophisticated and ordinary; ammunition is available in plenty (amply demonstrated in various districts from time to time and more universally to welcome the new year recently); breakdown of civic amenities and then there is political, inter-factional and sectarian infighting resulting in increased intensity of militancy within the various warring groups. On the other hand we have the Police & the Rangers, getting well equipped with crores of rupees worth of modern weapons, armoured personnel carriers (APCs) bullet-proof jackets and additional manpower without any consideration for personnel QUALITY or MERIT. To add on to the miseries of the common man, we have the various types of mafias operating hand-in-glove with a collapsed civil administration. I don't think I need to go on further nor, do I have to tell a group of management experts, what we are heading towards!?

Homing on to the security aspects, we at CPLC are more concerned in personal security matters such as anti-kidnapping, anti-car thefts and people exposed to threats, extortion and black-mail. So far as static security measures i.e. of home & place of work are concerned, we leave it to the expertise available with the innumerable security agencies operating in the city. However, a word of CAUTION. Check them out thoroughly and don't compromise on quality of service. I will now go through, one by one, the various types of situations one can be confronted with from our past experiences.

1) Kidnapping and Short Duration Hostage Taking: Both these crimes are well under control. The former, thanks to the dedicated efforts of my colleague Jameel Yousuf along with an equally dedicated team from the L.E.As. and, the latter, thanks to efforts of the Police Department. Just to refresh your memories, you will recall that in the early part of last year, a sudden spud of husband/wife hostage taking, followed by extortion or blatant dacoities at their residence, had created terror & panic in the city. It was indeed a very novel & ingenious modus-operandi, rendering the security at home completely impotent.

Give details of the two incidents:

a) Husband/wife intercepted while returning home from a wedding ceremony. Brought home breaking through' security guards. House cleaned. Husband taken along and dropped off at a distance.

b) Husband/wife intercepted and taken as hostages in a Kutchi-Abadi. Husband let-off to collect money. Miraculously, the wife escaped while being driven around.

Just for record purposes, CPLC has handled more than 150 cases of kidnapping for ransom since 1990; busted 22 gangs of kidnappers consisting of 132 criminals, some acquitted and a large number are under-trial. As I have stated earlier, kidnapping and couple snatching are virtually extinct and let's keep our fingers crossed that they remain so.

2) Car-Snatching (at gun-point): is the most serious and widespread crime which persists today. Apart from the trade aspect of this crime, snatched cars are extensively used for commiting further criminal activities. …