Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Karachi's Safety Ranking Climbs Amid Declining Crime Rates

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Karachi was ranked 47 in 2016.  Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

Comparison to Major Cities:

Creek Vista, Karachi, Pakistan
In South Asia region, Karachi, now ranked 50, is safer than Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ranked 18 and the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon ranked 40.  Delhi is ranked 60, Lahore 138, Mumbai 160 and Islamabad 226.

Karachi is also safer than American cities of Detroit, MI (17),  Baltimore, MD (20), New Orleans, LA (21), Albuquerque, NM (27), St. Louis, MO (30) Oakland, CA (33) and Milwaukee, WI (46).

The year 2013 marked the beginning of the deployment of Pakistan Rangers in Karachi to fight rampant extortion, terrorism and violence by armed gangs patronized by some political parties.  Evidence suggests that some of the politicians involved had links to Indian intelligence.

Impact on National Economy: 

Reduction in violence in Karachi is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

In a recent article titled "Pakistan Keeps Terrorists on the Run and Economy on a Roll", leading Japanese publication Nikkei Asia Review reported from Karachi that the negative perception of "terrorism, corruption, misrule" are "becoming  outdated, and businesses are taking notice... thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force".  Here's a more extended excerpt of the Nikkei story:

"The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide. In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%."

Summary: 

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Last year, Karachi was ranked 47. Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.  As the country's largest city and its financial capital and economic hub, a safe and healthy Karachi bodes well for Pakistan's future. The Pakistani military has played a crucial role in securing the nation's future by bringing peace to Karachi.

Here's a video of a Karachi mall:

https://youtu.be/KeKmj28m2-c



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

MQM-RAW Link

8 comments:

Mo said...

How #KulbushanJadhav led #India’s covert war in #Pakistan: Jadhav and #PPP affiliated #Karachi gangster Uzair Baloch developed a pivotal relationship 2014 onwards. Uzair's #Iranian passport enable him to freely move in and out of #Chahabar.


https://tribune.com.pk/story/1624582/1-kulbushan-jadhav-led-indias-covert-war-pakistan/

Indian magazine Frontline, a publication of renowned newspaper The Hindu has revealed detailed accounts of India’s secret war inside Pakistan involving terrorist Kulbushan Jadhav, National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Kumar Doval and chiefs of the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).

How it all started

Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav bearing service number 41558Z was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987, according to The Gazette of India which records promotions, commissioning and retirement of military officials.
Two Indian navy officials relay that Jadhav’s transition into the notorious spy world began after the parliament house attack in 2001 when the Indian navy was setting up nine naval detachments to monitor the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts but they lacked an independent intelligence capacity to monitor threats from across the sea.

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In 2006, the Balochistan insurgency exploded and the Indian intelligence community pressured their stations in Afghanistan to develop more contacts in the region.

“Our new asset in Chabahar soon began to be drawn into counterterrorism work for the Intelligence Bureau – raising fears that the fact that he was still on the organisation’s payroll could lead to embarrassment,” stated Indian Naval Intelligence officials.

According to sources, the Indian Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash’s resistance to these efforts was overruled by the Indian Intelligence bosses because they were desperate for assets.

“The Navy was extremely worried about the possible consequences of the tasks being assigned to Jadhav by the Intelligence Bureau. However, we were basically told that since he was there, that was how it needed to be,” said one officer.

“The push to draw Jadhav into front-line intelligence work was driven by the IB’s ambitions to have an independent overseas role. RAW’s own intelligence capacities in the region, they argued, were more than adequate to address emerging threats,” stated former RAW officials.

Sources said that Jadhav gave an idea about a reprisal attack on Karachi in case another 26/11 attack takes place which grasped the attention of top Indian intelligence officials.


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Relationship with Uzair Baloch

Sources confirmed that Jadhav and Uzair Baloch, a Karachi-based ganglord developed a pivotal relationship 2014 onwards. Due to the latter’s Iranian passport, he was able to freely move in and out of Chahabar.
Jadhav’s next door neighbour was Jaleel Baloch who happened to be Uzair Baloch’s nephew. He used to take cash from Jadhav in return for useful information.

Pakistan military sources insist that Jadhav made at least five deliveries of a huge cache of weapons to terrorists supporting the Baloch liberation movement.

“Baloch was involved in espionage activities, by providing secret information/sketches regarding Army installations and officials to foreign agents,” reiterates an official Pakistani investigation document. However, the material he handed over appeared to be low grade.

Last year Uzair Baloch was arrested in Abu Dhabi by the Interpol and handed over to Pakistani authorities.

“Baloch’s interrogation, eventually led the ISI to the Indian whose operations in Chahbahar had gone undetected for over a decade,” Pakistani official sources confirmed.

Subsequently, in April 2017, Baloch admitted in his testimony that he was in touch with terrorist Kulbushan Jadhav and Iranian intelligence.

Riaz Haq said...

Mo: " Sources confirmed that Jadhav and Uzair Baloch, a Karachi-based ganglord developed a pivotal relationship 2014 onwards. Due to the latter’s Iranian passport, he was able to freely move in and out of Chahabar."

While Uzair Baloch was a Pakistan People's Party gangster working with RAW, MQM's top leaders were on RAW's payroll:

“Large amounts of cash have been seized from premises associated with the MQM and a significant amount of assets have been identified in the United Kingdom. All of the cash and assets are believed to represent funds provided to MQM by the Indian government or other unlawful activity." London Metropolitan Police Document

“There is evidence that Mr HUSSAIN and members of the MQM have breached Pakistani Electoral legislation in as much as they have received ‘prohibited’ funds from the Indian government. This also constitutes breaches of criminal offenses under Pakistan and UK legislation thereby making the cash and assets criminal property.”

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/07/london-met-police-confirm-document.html

Shahid I. said...

Thank God; credit goes to our Army.

Imran said...

I respect your optimism but we need to be brutally honest. The improvement in Karachi is transient and not structural. Transient because Rangers have brought semblance of order but that is addressing the symptom. The underlying dynamic that caused the law/order issue is still there. The fact is Karachi has too many "guests" and not enough "natives". Most Karachites have dual identities. The Mohajir's identity is largely drawn from regions of present day India and that informs their ideal Pakistan. Then you havde the upper country residents from Punjab/KpK who also have their identities that reflect their regions. Then you have the "native" Sindhi's who are a minority in their "jewel on the Arabian Sea".

All this has created forces that conflict and grind as they all compete for the finite resources in the city. And you see the result. As soon as Rangers are pulled it things will swirl back to status quo ante. Karachi does not have a "glue" that can bind everybody.

Riaz Haq said...

Imran: " The fact is Karachi has too many "guests" and not enough "natives". Most Karachites have dual identities. The Mohajir's identity is largely drawn from regions of present day India and that informs their ideal Pakistan. Then you havde the upper country residents from Punjab/KpK who also have their identities that reflect their regions. Then you have the "native" Sindhi's who are a minority in their "jewel on the Arabian Sea"."

Karachi is a major metropolis and a microcosm representing Pakistan's diversity....the kind of diversity that I am used to seeing in highly successful Silicon Valley. It's "e pluribus unum"...from many to one...in action. It can be a win-win, not a zero-sum. I believe it's an asset rather than a liability.

Riaz Haq said...

A future perfect
Stephen Pinker’s case for optimism
“Enlightenment Now” explains why the doom-mongers are wrong

https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21737241-enlightenment-now-explains-why-doom-mongers-are-wrong-stephen-pinkers-case

TO ANYONE who reads a newspaper, this can seem a miserable world. Syria is still at war. Another lunatic has gone on a gun rampage in an American school. The tone of political debate can rarely have been as crass and poisonous as it is today.

Front pages are grim for the same reason that Shakespeare’s plays feature a lot of murders. Tragedy is dramatic. Hardly anyone would read a story headlined “100,000 AEROPLANES DIDN’T CRASH YESTERDAY”. Bad things often happen suddenly and telegenically. A factory closes; an apartment block burns down. Good things tend to happen incrementally, and across a wide area, making them much harder to film. News outlets could have honestly reported that the “NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY” every day for 25 years. But readers might get bored.

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The world is about 100 times wealthier than 200 years ago and, contrary to popular belief, its wealth is more evenly distributed. The share of people killed annually in wars is less than a quarter of that in the 1980s and half a percent of the toll in the second world war. During the 20th century Americans became 96% less likely to die in a car crash, 92% less likely to perish in a fire and 95% less likely to expire on the job.

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Best of all possible worlds

Progress has often been stunningly rapid. The vast majority of poor Americans enjoy luxuries unavailable to the Vanderbilts and Astors of 150 years ago, such as electricity, air-conditioning and colour televisions. Street hawkers in South Sudan have better mobile phones than the brick that Gordon Gekko, a fictional tycoon, flaunted in “Wall Street” in 1987. It is not just that better medicine and sanitation allow people to live longer, healthier lives, or that labour-saving devices have given people more free time, or that Amazon and Apple offer a dazzling variety of entertainment to fill it. People are also growing more intelligent, and more humane.

In every part of the world IQ scores have been rising, by a whopping 30 points in 100 years, meaning that the average person today scores better than 98% of people a century ago. How can this be, given that intelligence is highly heritable, and clever folk breed no more prolifically than less gifted ones? The answer is better nutrition (“brains are greedy organs”) and more stimulation. Children are far likelier to go to school than they were in 1900, while “outside the schoolhouse, analytic thinking is encouraged by a culture that trades in visual symbols (subway maps, digital displays), analytic tools (spreadsheets, stock reports) and academic concepts that trickle down into common parlance (supply and demand, on average, human rights).”

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Belief in equality for ethnic minorities and gay people has shot up, as demonstrated not only by polls (which could be biased by the knowledge that bigotry is frowned upon) but also by internet activity. Searches for racist jokes have fallen by seven-eighths in America since 2004. Those who enjoy them are dying out: online searches for racial epithets correlate with interest in “Social Security” and “Frank Sinatra”, Mr Pinker notes. Even the most conservative places are loosening up. Polls find that young Muslims in the Middle East are about as liberal as young western Europeans were in the early 1960s.

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Mr Pinker has answers for all these questions. In 45 out of 52 countries in the World Values Survey, happiness increased between 1981 and 2007. It rises roughly in line with absolute income per head, not relative income. Loneliness, at least among American students, appears to be declining. Global warming is a big threat, but not insurmountable. The number of nuclear weapons in the world has fallen by 85% since its peak.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan works to clean up Karachi, once world's 'most dangerous city'
Hollie McKay By Hollie McKay | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/06/06/pakistan-works-to-clean-up-karachi-once-worlds-most-dangerous-city.html

KARACHI, Pakistan – In the once terror-teeming city of Karachi on the coast of Pakistan’s Sindh province, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a name some hold in esteem.

“We learned from New York. The zero-tolerance policy and the application of the rule of law – that nobody is above the law – was key,” Muhammad Zubair, the Governor of Sindh and former Chairman of the Pakistan Privatization Committee, recently told Fox News, referencing Giuliani’s 1990’s crime clampdown in New York. “Karachi was so bad for two decades with warlords in the streets and a mess so deep that foreigners wouldn’t even come here for a day. And our number one, proudest achievement today has been turning Karachi around.”

The violence in Karachi was in a league of its own. The megacity – stuffed with around 25 million inhabitants and infamous as the place the Taliban captured and beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl in 2002 – seethed with drug smuggling, kidnapping, extortion and daily bomb blasts. Sectarian street clans waged war with hardline Islamic gangs, and it was commonplace for elected political parties to also have their own armed militia wing.

In 2013, Karachi ranked – as per the World Atlas – as the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Other rankings had it even higher. But by 2018, it was listed past 50th. So what was the magic bullet?

“In 2013, I made the economic plan and a major part of that plan was doing whatever was possible from a law and order standpoint,” Zubair explained. “The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Army Chief knew that a brutal operation was the only way out of this mess.”

Pakistani officials decided that instead of using military units or the then-relatively weak local police force, the roughly 30,000-strong Karachi paramilitary security apparatus known as the Rangers would lead the charge. Although they had been in effect since the 1990s, the Rangers had little legal authority to use force. But laws were quickly amended, and officials embarked on a campaign to drum up full support from the federal government to guarantee that the Rangers would be issued the necessary personnel and weaponry to “undertake whatever was needed.”

By September 2014, Operation Karachi was locked, loaded and finally ignited. Karachi was divided up into “defense phases” to carry out the meticulously planned operation, of which eight phases have since been completed with a ninth phase to be announced soon.

“Our plan was not rocket science. We did what was needed. People were being killed day after day and the perpetrators were getting away with it,” Zubair said. “On 10 minutes notice, the whole city could be shut down, with people running to their homes amid the burning and looting. This was going on year after year, dozens of times a year. But for the first time in 2016, Karachi was not shut down a single time. That trend continued in 2017.”

Today in Karachi, students huddle in coffee shops by the seaside, and sneak prohibited beer and hookah into trendy clubs and restaurants. There is a renewed vigor for everything from mass-scale cricket matches to theater performances, film festivals, traditional dancing and cultural pursuits.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s first-ever Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion is all about cities
And how complex and dynamic the country’s can be
By Ian Volner Jun 6, 2018, 1:45pm EDT

https://www.curbed.com/2018/6/6/17422574/venice-architecture-biennale-2018-pakistan-pavilion

Somewhere between the Olympics and the world’s biggest, baddest, design-school pin-up lies the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Every two years, a few dozen nations deputize a small circle of curators and thinkers to represent them at the show; many of the participating countries are regulars, with permanent pavilions of their own, often dating back to the early 20th century, and located in the leafy Giardini della Biennale near Venice’s easternmost tip.

But each edition of the exhibition also brings a batch of wildcards, never-before-seen entrants whose homelands have decided, for whatever reason, to throw their hats into the ring. This year, first-timers included Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. And social media (full disclosure: mine included) took a special shine to the premier outing from the Vatican, a brace of inventive freestanding chapels by architects both well- and lesser-known.

There was one rookie nation, however, whose appearance at the Biennale was especially poignant, both for the character of its installation and for the mere fact of its being in Venice at all: Pakistan.

“This is a very political statement,” says Salman Jawed, a member of Coalesce Design Studio, the collaborative, multidisciplinary firm that helped bring the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Venice for the first time.

The politics he’s speaking about are not, at least at first, overtly evident: Situated in a small public park not far from the Giardini, the Pakistani installation, titled “The Fold,” is a roughly four-yard-square cage of irregularly-spaced steel bars towering some twenty feet in the air.

Slipping into this rather forbidding envelope via a narrow passage, the visitor discovers a playground-like atmosphere within, a trio of wooden swings dangling from overhead beams, and a pair of wooden benches on curved, brushed-steel rockers. The contrast between stern exterior and playful interior gives a pleasant jolt. But understanding its polemical intent requires a little more digging.

As Coalesce partner Zeba Asad explains, in Karachi, “all the urban spaces are in the street.” The Pakistani capital is home to over 21 million people, most of them jammed into a relatively small wedge of the metropolis, with little room for parks, plazas, or other urban amenities.

Seen from one perspective, “The Fold” is an attempt to address this condition: The placement of the swings at odd angles means that users are constantly at risk of colliding with their fellow swingers, just as the children of Karachi must hazard cars, pedestrians, and one another as they play in the city’s crowded streets.

The rocker-benches perform a similar maneuver, obliging the sitter to negotiate with anyone beside them so that neither will slide sidelong into the dirt should their neighbor stand up. As a metaphor, the installation is at once a teasing critique and a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Pakistan’s jostling urbanism, giving exhibition-goers a taste of Karachi without sparing them its vexing particulars.

Stepping into a swing herself, Asad demonstrates its operational logic. “You have to go forward for me to move back,” she says. “We have to talk to each other or it would be a disaster.”

Not just an urban critique, the installation also makes a broader case for dialogue, compromise, and coordinated action at every political scale: The globe, no less than Karachi, is a crowded place, and the designers identify patterns and prescriptions that could apply to either, layering a second metaphor atop the first.