Lahore: A peaceful provincial capital

S H KhanS H Khan
I was crossing the road at one  of the busy signals of modern  Lahore in the evening when two bikers tried to snatch my cell phone from my hands. It was about five years ago. This was first ever attempt of street crime of my life and it made me so scared that even after days i felt every bike coming towards me, is in attempt to loot me. Two years later, again it was a busy road of Lahore, again in the evening when a biker with gun, tried to loot me but at the same time police men in simple dress reached there and again i was safe. These two incidents/ street crime happened to me during my sixteen years stay at Lahore. I used to stay out late at night, used to have coffee at 2 am from famous coffee point of Lahore, used to watch last show of movie over weekend and being female, it was never scary to me. Despite those two incidents Lahore was never unsafe to me even i moved alone.Every day we read reported incidents, street crimes at Lahore. But as per personal experience, Lahore is not so unsafe as depicted. Among all four provincial capitals of Pakistan, Lahore is safer than others. According to Express Tribune, 52,552 victims of street crime were there in karachi in 2016 while 28,709 cases of street crime, kidnapping and murder were reported in Lahore in the year 2016. There is a huge difference between the reported incidents of these two cities. 52,552 incidents are only of street crime and 28,709 incidents including kidnapping and murder. While in 2015 this number was 21,363 as compare to 59,584 street crime incidents in Karachi, and in 2014 it was 60,009 as compare to 24,960 incidents in Lahore. Every year there is huge difference between the two provincial capitals in number of street crimes and other incidents. As per report of an international website, crime index of Lahore in 2017 is 49.87 % and of Peshawar is 53.29%. Safety index of Lahore is 50.13 and of Peshawar is 46.71. Safety walking alone at night is 42.42% in Lahore as compare to 38.46% in Peshawar. Read these figures by keeping in mind that female can move freely on roads of Lahore at any time while it is hard to find female at roads of Peshawar even during day timing except university road. Situation of Quetta is not so different as well. It has same cultural values for women to keep them at home as Peshawar has.Is Lahore really safe for women or it is merely eye wash? Considering reported rape incidents of neighboring country, it is very true to say that Lahore is really safe for women. Lahore never reported any case of rape, or gang rape even at night. A female can travel alone in Lahore. Rape incidents are less overall in Pakistan as compare to neighbor country. But considering Lahore as provincial capital, number of street crimes and other crimes is less at Lahore as compare to Karachi and Peshawar as well. One of the reasons behind it is: Quick response of police. Whether there is any incident reported at home or street, response time of police in cities of Punjab is maximum 10-15 minutes.Especially in Lahore, police is quick in giving response. Even if you feel any suspicious person around your home, just at one call of yours, police respond, reach at point and investigate. One can see police patrolling at roads of Lahore in mid night. Recently Dolphin force has been inducted to counter street crime.Since morning to 12 at night, Dolphin force kept on patrolling at roads and is vigilant towards bikers. Snap checking is their routine. Now a days one can see police mobiles “PRU” patrolling on roads. This is police response unit and at any place of incident/ crime, police reaches within five to ten minutes.All these facts mentioned above are not stories. These are self experiences, self witnessed. If government is doing something good for security of common man, it should be appreciated. Police patrolling, Dolphin force, Police response unit; they give sense of security to public and threat to criminals. One must appreciate the policies of Punjab government which has maintained law and order situation in the province. We cannot say Punjab is crime Free State, or Lahore is the safer city on earth but by comparing it with other states, with neighbor countries, or even with advance cities like London and New York, one surely can say that Lahore is safer. It is a saying; he is not the NewYorker who is not robbed at street. More or less, similar situation is there in central London. One can robe your house in day light in your absence. All the capital cities are hub of migration. Due to job opportunities, provincial capitals are hub of different cultures. Hunger and long search of job can force any one to enter in street crime. In such situation it is very hard task to maintain the law and order situation, specially control over incidents of street crime, and Lahore is very well doing in this regard.

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