From the Crime Scene to the Criminal

J. J. Baloch


The criminal investigation needs sophistication in identifying, collecting, preserving and analysing valuable material evidence. As the ill luck would have it, our investigations still rely on traditional methods of evidence collection and badly lack application of scientific method. Our police investigations still depend on what the complainant and the planted witnesses of the case tell our detectives.

Our First Information Report is big misnomer which is very confusing and misguiding document as it takes investigation process in reverse by going from criminal to crime scene with the help of oral statements of planted witnesses in most of the cases. However, this runs counter to modern methods which go from crime scene to criminal relying on material evidence.

When the incident of crime takes place, a victim can approach police station of the area for registration of his complaint and police register First Information Report and start investigations. The investigation is defined as the process of collection of evidence. Evidence is of two major types: Oral or verbal meaning witness statements and Material, signifying all material such as empties of the bullet or ballistic, any document, blood, hair, tyres marks, foot tracks, fingerprints or anything of the same ilk which can be collected from the crime scene- a place where crime occurs. The oral evidence is very weak because if the statements of the witnesses do not tally one another, the case is lost and the accused get benefited and it often happens. Good and reliable evidence is the forensic or material evidence collected from the crime scene and which does not depend on anyone’s statement but on the expert opinion which is highly dependable, admissible and advisable for all detectives in the interest of carrying out quality investigations which can promise proper prosecution and which can ensure satisfactory convictions in the courts of law.


Unfortunately in our country, Pakistan, due to lack of forensic facilities and expertise most of our detectives rely heavily on the version of First Information Reports which limits the scope of investigations by nominations of the accused persons. So they start their investigations confirming whether the nominated accused is actual culprits or not. If they are actual criminals, their lawyers make very tricky cross questions with the witnesses of the incident in the trial court and in many cases the chances of accused of going unpunished highly increase. This happens because of faulty investigations based on weak evidence which limits justice and fairly by going from criminal to crime scene approach.

On the contrary, forensic or material evidence based on the scrutiny of the crime scene applying scientific methods and expert opinion on the material evidence so secured from the scene of the crime can be helpful in achieving better conviction rates and hence have a greater likelihood of serving as a stronger deterrence to crime and criminality. The understanding, securing, sketching, filming, photographing and collecting materials from the scene of the crime to be used and analysed as an evidence for re-construing the crime happening by connecting the chain of materials from different angles, making it sensible, logical and acceptable to human mind exclusively through scientific methods. Such criminal investigations do not require nominations in First Information Reports but start detecting and tracing the original culprits through reliable methods and seek accurate implications by going through crime scene to the criminal.

In Pakistan, however, it was a practice not to incorporate evidence in the FIR some decades earlier. Same is true in developed countries where policing and investigations are carried out in a professional and evidence-based ways. If an incident of Robbery takes place. A short FIR contains only the basic information of incident. For example, “The complainant Aslam has reported that at 11; 05 pm two unknown masked and armed with pistols motorcyclists forcibly stopped me near peacock crossing adjacent to the shopping mall and snatched my cell phone and purse.” This shows everything that is required to define crime and criminal incident i.e. nature of crime-robbery, time and place of incident, and who did what with whom and why? On this police can start investigations and trace the case.

However, nowadays FIRs are not that simple but rather contain unnecessary details such as why complainant was there in the place of incident, what else he was carrying, what words the accused spoke to him, whether the street lights were on or off,  did the accused told the reason of snatching, did they introduced themselves as Khalid and Munir and acquainted Aslam about home address and their old problems with him. Very sadly our FIRs contain everything unnecessary one can imagine which can hardly leave any room for Investigator to reach the original story, resulting in the increase in pendency and untraced cases.

Therefore, Sind police must focus on the culture of material evidence and develop crime scene science so that no criminal manages to go scot free. In the wake of this, Sind Police has, very recently, began to adopt in letter and spirit the scientific modalities of managing crime scene. Though a paradigm shift in policing methodologies in Sind, yet this has to go a long way in attaining maturity and sophistication. Let us explain how crime scene management works.

The Crime Scene Management covers almost all main aspects of crime scene management activity of crime scene investigators. I had privilege and credit to draft these Standard Operating Procedures on Crime scene management for Sind Police in 2010 and these procedures have been adopted without any addition or deletion. Let us describe these crime scene procedures.


These crime scene procedures are divided into four major aspects of crime scene management and are designed to devise different roles and to fix responsibilities of the police officers who are one way or the other related to the crime scene management. The four major aspects include information, preparation, protection of crime scene and search and preservation of evidence.

According to the first procedure of information, as laid down in Standard Operating Procedures, “Station House Officer (SHO) or duty officer, or patrol officer or finally Head Muharir, “will be responsible for informing the forensic division Sind police” for sending its crime scene unit at the crime scene. Duty Officer In-charge at Forensic Division will make the proper entry in his daily register mentioning therein all particulars and details containing the name of informing the officer, time of information, nature of the crime and also departure and arrival of crime scene staff.

The procedure of ‘preparation’ for managing crime scene places much of responsibility on the Forensic Division. “The crime scene manager” available at Forensic Division “will be responsible” for making all arrangements necessary for search, collection, role assignment on the spot if necessary, legal ramifications, communication with supplementary services such as medical examiner and prosecutor, coordination with the eyewitnesses of the crime scene and packing and transportation of evidence materials.

At present such a bigger role for Forensic Division appears to be idealistic to many police officers who are working in the field and who are not at all willing to share their authority with any specialised unit at whatsoever cost is, indeed, a big stumbling block in the implementation of such procedures of Crime Scene. However, it is expedient to establish the active forensic units with the full-fledged crime scene unit facility at the zonal level both in Karachi as well as interior Sindh so that time and resources could be saved and Standard Operating Procedures of Crime Scene would implement with less resistance.

Regarding the third procedure of the protection of crime scene, the document in point states: “The responsibility of protecting and securing crime scene lies with SHO (Station House Officer) and his concerned police station, which is capable of making arrangements for protecting and securing the crime scene”. It further establishes: “the person responsible should take control aggressively and close access to everything to the crime scene. He/She should deny access to anyone and to anything towards the crime scene”.


Only authorised persons can enter the crime scene with the permission of Crime Scene manager/ protector. It does not mean any high official can enter the Crime Scene without recording appropriate reasons and justifications and his or her entry and exit will be fully recorded together with the specific purpose of his or her entry.

In addition to this, the SHO who is responsible for the protection of crime scene as per procedures would also gauge the purity of Crime Scene and determine the level of its contamination when he or she arrives and takes the charge of the Crime Scene. If the Crime Scene initially appears to have been spoiled, the SHO will try to obtain the information relating to the original conditions of the Crime Scene by identifying, removing and separating the witnesses from the Crime Scene.

The very significant aspect of Crime Scene Evidence protection as laid down in this procedure is the way Crime Scene is to be recorded or got recorded by Crime Scene Investigators. There are three major methods of recording the crime scene. They include photography, sketch, and notes. Everyone attending the crime scene and has some role there is required to take extensive and detailed notes of everything present at the crime scene and every activity taking places at the moment he or she arrives the crime scene. No one attending crime scene is supposed to rely on memory. Such notes can offer potential evidence.  It is advised apart from procedures that we do not only have to preserve the crime scene but we have also to be able to prove that we did so.


The fourth and the last procedure reads: “The responsibility of crime scene search lies with the local investigating officer. He/she will be responsible for completing all legal requirements, for ensuring proper packing of evidence from the crime scene, for keeping track of evidence, and for ensuring timely collection of materials and expert reports/opinions. He/she is bound to maintain search and evidence log.”

Moreover, investigating officer has also been rendered responsible under this procedure to prepare the narrative description of the crime scene (include written notes, audio tape and video tape), depict crime scene photographically, and through sketch with a view to documenting the relationship of items, locations and distances at the scene.  At the end he/she should conduct the final survey and release the scene, containing time and date of release together with who released the same scene to whom.

After years of archaic policing, Sindh Police’s adoption of Crime Scene Management procedures for obtaining a reliable material evidence is, beyond any doubt, a timely step in a right direction which can claim a paradigm shift in the ways we have been policing and policed during last sixty years or more. However, the success of this little effort would largely depend on the level of seriousness with which our police implement and adopt it.

The Writer is a law enforcement/Policing Educator and a Novelist…






Our Criminal Justice Dilemma




The dilemma in Pakistan’s criminal justice system is deep-rooted and widespread in our societal structure, political traditions, statutory ethos, popular apathy, and institutional turf wars. An autopsy of our criminal justice reveals in an unmistakable way the long list of factors that go uninterrupted in haunting everyone including the public, media, academia, politics and governance.

The form and structure of the state, the modes of its governance and the fundamental paradigm of its regulatory regimes always reflect the essence of society’s culture. However, the human culture is the most ancient and the most powerful influence on human thinking about the perspectives of living and of the moving spirit behind the civilisation.

Ours is, indeed, an outlived criminal justice system; it is incapacitated to live up to the changing times. Our criminal justice fails to be at par with challenges triggered by the age of terror, borderless world, human rights, rule of law, due process of law, age of digits and many similar influences.

The elitist power culture is the core issue in addressing the very fundamental irritants in our criminal justice system. The elitist ethos of our societal structure represented by feudal mindsets and nuisance gamers continue to pre-empt all progressive reform efforts of all our enlightened statesmen. All those who matter because of their ascribed status whether they hail from any segment or interest group ranging from politics, statecraft, bureaucracy, media, civil society, landed gentry leave no stone unturned to perpetuate their status quo to the extent of converting all public interests into their personal and private businesses interests. The common man is yet to attain freedom which is mortgaged in the contours of dynastic democratic tradition in our country.

Political Interference in public department’s especially criminal justice institutions is another problem area. In Pakistan, the entire criminal justice system has been adversely affected by politically motivated policies and practice designed to weaken its structure. Those public servants who maintain the integrity and resist tooth and nail to deny dancing to the tunes of politicians and all others who one way or the other matter in the power structure in Pakistan are either transferred or removed from the service through engineered allegations and concocted departmental enquiries.

As a consequence, the criminal justice system has lost public confidence as a trustworthy and reliable mechanism to redress the public grievances on basis of merit. Many surveys conducted by independent groups and human rights commission of Pakistan time and again testify the fact that 80% of Pakistani Public have no confidence in CJS institutions and believe that they serve regime and protect the powerful lot only. There has reportedly been serious rule of law issues.

We also lack in criminal justice policy principles. It works unsystematically. The idealistic core of the system is dry and hollow within.  The policy for CJS is important and considered as the best practice to enforce the law, ensure justice and maintain public peace and order. Such ideals of the policy are the absolute wasteland in Pakistan where, unfortunately, ad-hoc measures reign supreme, fitting the elitist scheme of things.

Our CJS is yet to adopt the technology. The technology deficit takes our system to nowhere but to the perpetual and utter state of stagnancy and retrogression. The proper use of modern technology of forensics, telemetry, biometrics, digitalism, database formations, and documentation is missing. Its approaches are doubt-driven and not evidence-based.

Sadly to say, we are yet to think of CJS innovations that have been taking place worldwide in last three decades. In order to rise equal to the burgeoning challenges of crime and justice, expanding mandate of CJS institutions specially the gatekeepers -the police, and also rising public expectations within promising democracies, the governments of modern day are left with very thin choices to ignore exploring new ways of reviewing the basic missions of police, their core strategies, and the relationship of police with the community they are sworn to serve.

Despite a number of CJS committees and commissions constituted time and again in 70 years of our country’s age had very insightful and remarkable ideas of renovating CJS but regrettably all withered away in the serious storms of vested interests of bureaucratic and political nature? The most outstanding, to name a few, has been the Police Order 2002 which too saw the light of the day during Musharaf’s autocracy got infected with bureaucratic dengue virus in Punjab and political HIV in Sindh and Balochistan.

Lovely, the democratic ideals and rule of law culture spread in our country in 21st century bring the military-clone democratic order of Musharaf to its logical end in a peaceful manner yet the ill-panned and unregulated advancements resulted out of judicial activism brought the CJS institutions in the crossfire of judicial and executive battles of deadly nature in which the police and prosecution suffered irreparable collateral damages finally creating the environment of serious mistrust between the honourable courts and the police services and other law enforcement agencies related to the investigations of the crime, terrorism, corruption, and elections. This gap still exists and is readable in landmark Panama-gate judgement of the supreme court of Pakistan issued on 20th April 2017.

Not being a part and parcel of sacred CJS process the Media, both electronics and print, in Pakistan have self-assumed the role of justice dispensing agent through a well-thought-out and well-planned phenomenon of media trials of the issues of social as well as national nature allowing the space for many outsiders to get involved in the job that not at all is their business. The involvement of media in everything statutory and governmental is hardly serving anybody’s interest except eroding the basic functions of CJS institutions, influencing police investigations and the courts’ decisions.

Besides all this, our CJS lack counterterrorism capacity. Our police and civilian law enforcement agencies are not considered worth to fight the menace of terrorism in our country. As a consequence, our national action plan is being executed through our military and paramilitary forces and that is why military courts have been established to carry out that daunting job of executing the terrorists. Our superior courts are left with thin choices of trying police officers in ‘forced disappearances’ cases more than they have to execute the terrorists.

The very fundamental issue of our CJS is also unequal access to justice. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid in one of his articles refer to Michael Anderson, a CJS expert, who writes:

“First, Justice in its current form is part of the problem. Secondly, the poor see the institutions of justice not as a source of protection, but as entities to be avoided. Thirdly, where justice institutions are seen not as the part of the solution but rather a part of the problem, it is hardly surprising that access to them is not especially attractive. Fourthly, improved access to courts will be of little use if it means greater access to delay, harassment, bribe-taking, and unresponsive systems. Fifthly, in this context, the question for judges becomes: how to ensure that justice institutions are not themselves sources of injustice! Lastly, delay in criminal justice negates several fundamental rights including the right to freedom of movement and dignity of man.”

The last but not the least, many experts believe that our criminal justice system is discriminatory to the core. Despite all claims and proclaims biases on the basis of gender and class at all levels of CJS are deeply entrenched. Our CJS treats people of different backgrounds differently and the powerful and influential have long hands and large brains to manoeuvre it to their comforts.

As a result, we have been co-existing with a criminal justice system which appears to be more criminally-toned than justice-driven:

  • it neither punishes crime nor offers Justice to the victim;
  • many criminals go scot free and many victims await justice;
  • the conviction rate is abysmally low;
  • there is nothing like corrections of criminals;
  • society rely on outside court settlements of their issues even in the serious crimes like felony;
  • the existence of Jirga, Shariah law and military courts speaks volumes of the fragility and infectivity of our CJS;
  • and also our CJS is dead on future crime challenges which intensively connected world with high openness has in store for it.

Pakistan’s CJS is outdated and dysfunctional and needs drastic reforms and Criminal Justice Policy. For CJP criminal justice policy research is sin qua non. We should establish Criminal Justice Policy Institute.

Ultimately and realistically, we are left with no any criminal justice system. The Bottlenecks in the reformation of CJS might be the Political & the Bureaucratic “Vested Interests”. As a consequence, malfunctioning of our CJS continues to impact the core values of governance i.e. Justice, Freedom, writ of the law and Peace in Pakistan.

The Writer is a novelist and a law enforcement educator…


Why Democratic Counterterrorism?

J. J. Baloch


Democracy’s security rationale in terms of countering terrorism needs to be explored. The premise of such democratic security is based on the presumption that it encourages all inclusive counterterrorism approach based on popular support and discourages overreliance on coercive methods, though it does not deny proportionate and sensible use of force in fighting terror.

In this context, the Democratic Counterterrorism can be defined as an ‘all-inclusive, broad-based strategy, a process and an environment to counter terrorism. Such strategy can be based on the democratic values of consultation, tolerance for diversity, respect for disagreement, pluralism, universal representation, freedoms, human rights, and rule of law, non-discrimination and the power of public mandate involving disengagement strategies and promoting socio-political and economic inclusion. Democratic counterterrorism relies not on the rule of expediency and necessity but which goes primarily for a socio-political mechanism of de-radicalization as well as for enlisting a popular support against terrorists through national unity and cohesion.

Having said that, democracy’s case against the terrorism here is, therefore, build on some key foundational presumptions. First, terrorists consider democracy something against their worldview based on religious doctrines. Secondly, the terrorist threat is used as a tool to deny people their right to the participatory system further promoting socio-economic and political non-inclusion, the condition of society friendly to violence and unrest in it. Thirdly, democracy redresses public grievances by offering them the opportunity to participate in all kinds of political, economic, and social policy decisions. Fourthly, democracy promotes moderation and tolerance for pluralism which is an antidote to terrorism.


Last but not the least, terrorism is born out of the political grievances of certain groups based on ethnicity, geography, race, religion etc. and terrorism is defined as politically motivated violence; hence its best solution can only be found in a participatory politics and an inclusive polity.

The theoretical literature on the social contracts which created the state, as presented by political thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, reveals in very clear and categorical terms that in such a speculated social contract both the individual and the state, who are primary parties to it, surrender some of their respective rights and authorities and in return both accept some duties.

For the state, it is imperative to protect fundamental rights i.e. right to freedom, the right to life, the right to property, the right to privacy, right to honour and right to progress/ prosperity etc. On the contrary, for the individual, it is essential to obey the law and pay tax together with being loyal to the country.

The success of contract depends on balance in the equation between individual liberty and state authority. If individual transgresses his liberty, it becomes anarchy and if the state uses excessive authority more than what is allowed by the law, it becomes a tyranny, authoritarianism and dictatorship where the rule of man instead of rule of law prevails.

Leonard Weinberg in his book, “Democracy and Terrorism: Friend or Foe” (2013) Routledge writes: “This struggle has been inspired in part by the belief is that by promoting democracy they will also bring an end to terrorism. Where people enjoy the blessings of liberty, they will naturally find peaceful outlets for the expression of their political views, it has been widely held. Terrorism, on the other hand, is seen largely as a consequence of repression, where citizens cannot choose rulers freely and where dissenting voices are silenced by the authorities, terrorism and other types of violence appear to follow.”[1]

Great historians of International History such as Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul also support the idea of democracy as an effective counterterrorism mechanism. They argue: “The transformation of powerful autocracies into democracies has served U.S. national security interests.”


Larry Diamond, a modern day scientist of democracy, is of the view that most obviously, “the end of dictatorship and the consolidation of democracy in Germany, Italy, and Japan after World War II made the United States safer…and regime change in the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and greatly reduced this once-menacing threat to the United States and its allies .” Dr Maleeha Lodhi in her book ‘Global Terrorism’ also writes: “Winning hearts and minds is an essential part of isolating Al-Qaeda’s (or any other radical) ideology and its proponents”.

Our National Action Plan (NAP) is a good and inclusive counterterrorism plan but it lacks many of the approaches as enshrined in United Nations’ Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Pakistan’s counterterrorism policy must include all aspects of fighting terror as set out in UN CT policy. UN advises fourfold approach to contain extremism and terrorism which include” Root-Cause model (poverty, non-inclusion, Rule of Law, Human Rights), Enforcement Model (Coercive methods), Good Governance Model (Building state capacity), Development model (inclusive Political, social and economic development). Our CT policy must weld together all marginalised segments of society. But to our very setback, NAP has been implemented only in parts, not in toto.

A portion of NAP, which relies on coercive tactics, has been marginally enforced; such as military courts, SIM registrations and death penalty but no other measure, including criminal justice reforms, Madrassa reforms, Balochistan reconciliation, FATA reintegration, no Media glorification of terrorists, weapon nonproliferation, disturbing terrorist communication, NACTA revival and empowerment etc, in twenty points agenda of NAP, has ever received any political attention in Pakistan. Thus, NAP relies mostly on enforcement model.

Benazir Bhutto in her last book, Reconciliation, Islam and the West, 2007, is the view that “autocratic and unstable Pakistan” is in no one’s interests. She argued that democracy is compatible with Islam and Muslim societies can be democratised. She expresses her unshakable belief in democracy as the best “environment and mechanism” to counter terror[2]. On the contrary, she makes a very strong case that extremism and terrorism grow in what she refers to “an authoritarian environment”.

The proof of this fact has been the electoral records of Pakistan. Never in Pakistan’s electoral history has any religious party won more than 14% of total votes cast. Pakistan people’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League (all factions) and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf are three leading parties and all have moderate and secular political philosophies. Similarly, the remarkable majority in Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Judiciary, as well as civil and military bureaucracy, are moderate and progressive. Even most of our religious parties are not against democracy but always stand for the rule of law and fundamental rights including freedom of expression and independent judiciary. Therefore, our socio-political environment has a great potential for democracy.

A student lifts a placard as he and others line up to take part in a march for peace in Mumbai

Very strategic point in counterterrorism in Pakistan to understand is the fact that many anti-social, anti-Pakistan and criminal elements have joined together to advance their own agenda by creating anarchy through terrorism. Among them, drug traffickers, smugglers, enemy country agents, underworld mafias, land grabbers, exporters, and weapon dealers are in the forefront as the weak state authority is always ideal for them to operate with impunity. As a result, they have started investing in terrorism. They can offer cash, vehicles, weapons, suicide bombers, and protection to the terrorists.

Most importantly such elements easily enlist public support where the legitimacy of the government is controversial and where government hardly has any legal or moral stance or roles to play, such as in FATA and GB. Such ungoverned areas should be brought under the umbrella of the constitution without any further delay and the local people of those areas must be taken on board while taking economic and political decisions affecting their lives.

Therefore, in this whole game of terrorism and counterterrorism, this essay argues, the winner will be the one who will have on his/her side what we can summarise as “Public Support”. If people of the country are on the side of the terrorists, they will win; if people side with the government, the terrorists will lose. So let us defeat terrorism with democratic counterterrorism by exploring and exploiting its potentials in Pakistan.


The Writer is a Novelist and a Law Enforcement Educator…References


[1] Leonard Weinberg, “Democracy and Terrorism: Friend or Foe”, (2013) Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London & New York.

[2] BHUTTO, BENAZIR. 2008, Reconciliation Islam, Democracy & The West, London, Simon & Schuster



Crime and Punishment

J. J. Baloch


Though the origins of crime and punishment are linked with the origins of the statehood yet the punishment for wrongdoing is tied with human origin on earth. The evolutionary phases of what is wrong and what is right for humans as thinking social animals described by culture, religion and state. From deviance down to sin and crime, wrongdoings have been punished with different sanctions. However, the system of formalised punishment has been birthed by the state.

In primitive societies where the existence of religion as a fear factor behind expected behaviours had been obscure the human common sense and rational thinking can be credited as the sole force behind declaring certain acts as wrong invoking certain punishments. The anthropologists and sociologists are not sure as to when exactly this started at a certain point of time yet they maintain that the human society has never been without fundamental concepts of expected behaviours.


The state of nature as described by Hobbes, Locke, and Roseau as a pre-social and pre-political condition of human civilisation is said to have followed certain unwritten rules called customs and norms. The customs and norms have always regulated human behaviour and have greatly influenced human thinking on human living. It is interesting to note that some unwritten customs have been more effective than modern legal codes on both the adoption as well as the implementation by their respective communities.

The unwritten codes have been effective because of many reasons. The first and the foremost force behind acceptance of such unwritten rules have been the strong sense of ownership of concerned communities who evolved and adopted those unwritten rules. Secondly, ownership of such customs by the communities was based on the basic premise that such rules were made by those communities adopting and implementing them. Thirdly, the unwritten customs had behind the driver of cultural moralism which was the way of life of the people in the state of nature as discussed in the political theory of social contract.


It was perhaps the reason why the French Enlightenment philosopher JJ Roseau always idealised the natural societies by painting the state of nature or pre-state societies as ideal conditions of human civilisations. Unlike Hobbes who believed that the human life in the state of nature was miserable and anarchic, a condition which underlined the need of formalised social institution of the state, JJ Roseau maintained that early societies relied on unwritten customs that often were more rigid than the written rules and were followed voluntarily rather than they were enforced by legal sanctions but the state was created for developing a system of progress, development, and advancement in an organised and systematic way.

The unwritten rules are more rigid and uncompromising and people in many cultures voluntarily and willingly follow them as a part and parcel of their very identity, name, fame, survival and success. In some cultures, public behaviour is very determined and disciplined so much so that that strictly follow when to stand, sit, eat, sleep etc. “There is little argument that the earliest laws were derived from folk customs, evolving from loose but unquestionable rule to fixed but more specific practices. Until relatively recently, many anthropologists scoffed at the notion of legal life in primitive cultures but instead saw ‘custom as the king’.” Law has always existed in one form or another. Without rules to maintain order and to make progress, anarchy threatens the very existence of a community.

Therefore, “one of the most intriguing questions facing anthropologists, criminologists, sociologists, and other scholars of governance and justice systems as to how the earliest pre-literate societies managed to not only survive but also maintain peace and order without written law codes.”( Michel P. Roth-2010)

In addition to human culture, the ideas of Godhood as supernatural powers in the forms of different religions have played a leading role in the development of what we understand criminal justice system in modern terminology. The punishment has been the main instrument for religions to inspire fear in people. However, greed for rewards such as paradise has also tempted many for following the line of religious doctrines. Wrongful acts are declared sins which are the individual acts for which the doer is personally responsible to God.

“When the members of a society believe that consequences of a sinful act will spread to the entire group, rather than affecting just the sinner, sins become crimes.” Any breach of custom or injunction would invoke the wrath of their gods against the breaching individual his community. The responsibility and punishment were collective in nature. The highly punishable acts have been profanity, blasphemy, and sacrileges while the punishments of dunking, stoning, and whipping were used to humiliate the sinners. Therefore, it goes without saying that the religious injunctions have been a very impactful influence in controlling human behaviour and disciplining them.

The birth of state paved the way for the dawn of the written laws. The state was believed to be the divine institution -the idea of statehood which was challenged by many Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle but was dumped by Machiavelli, an Italian philosopher who maintained that state was human, not a divine institution. Further JJ Roseau challenged the all kinds of rulerships by advocating for popular sovereignty in his concept of ‘General Will’ which maintained that right to rule rests with the people and social contract between the state and communities was not absolute but rather conditional. People agreed to obey laws and pay taxes in exchange for their protection of life, property, and civil liberties.

The theory of General Will sparked revolutions for civil liberties. The most important following the theory was French Revolution and American war of independence during the second half of the 18th century. The evolution of the state came with the concept of citizenship. In addition, the concept of individual property rights made individuals the distinct social entities with economic powers. Before this, all property in the empire belonged to kings who had sole wish to allow to any subject who had no rights but slaves.

Here laws were made to clear the rights and duties of all the signatories of the social contract including the state and its citizenry. From here was born the concept of constitutions and the modern criminal justice system comprising police, court and prisons came into shape during the revolutionary times of the last quarter of the 18th century.

The Bill of Rights, the American Constitution and many other constitutional documents came into existence describing the nature and functions of the state underlying the rights and duties of the citizenry. However, E. Adamson Hoebel in his study of primitive law maintains that the code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian code of ancient Mesopotamia and oldest deciphered written document with significant length in the world dating back to 1754 BC.

The writing and codification of law especially constitutional, penal, and criminal defined certain acts as crimes punishable under the penal codes. In Eighteenth-century England the most serious secular crime was treason and the most serious religious offence was sacrilege. But today human rights violations are considered as the serious crimes against the laws and values of postmodern culture is based on civil liberties. In primitive times humans saw threats to their communities more seriously than the threats to the states which came to limelight during the middle ages and which still continues to struggle against the modern human rights discourse of the world without borders.

State functions through its laws and the source of ancient laws were the kings and of modern law the people: for the people, of the people, and by the people. Crime is what the law says it is, to put it very simply. not every violation of the law is the crime nor yet it is a sin or deviance. However, crime is classified in six major categories i.e. violent crime, property crime, public order crime, white collar crime, organised crime and cybercrime. Punishment for these types of crimes varies from restitution, fines, probation, imprisonment, and death sentence.

Therefore, the criminal justice system has existed in human society in one or another form and has undergone different phases of evolution. Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.

Today Pakistan stands with criminal justice troika -three parallel justice systems: Jirga -a culture model, Shariah – religious model, and criminal justice -rule of law model. Ultimately, it makes us believe that we are witnessing anarchy and violence in our society because we are left with neither of these three systems intact but function in stark conflict.

We need to transform our conflict model into a consensus model where we should not have any difference on core values of crime and punishment.

The Writer is Policing Educator and Practitioner …







Whiter Than White by J.J. Baloch: Ratings, Reviews, Publicity and availability

Whiter than White by J. J. Baloch is now available in every corner of the world. The author is receiving requests for its translations in different global languages.

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Towards the Telemetric Policing


J. J. Baloch

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Use of telemetry in policing is not commonplace in Pakistan. The telemetric Policing refers to ‘distant surveillance of crime, disorder, offending, traffic violations, policing and other similar situations/activities by the police of both the public as well as the police, employing electronic apparatuses which include: CCTV, Safety Cameras, point-to-point cameras, red-light cameras, speed cameras, drone cameras, bar code readers, magnetic stripes, Radio frequency identification devices, Radars, and other similar instruments which enable police make the most of the technology in cutting crime.

Thus, Telemetric is a practical digital policing application, like biometric and forensic methods, to gather data but unlike biometrics and forensics which require physical contact for their applications, the telemetric model operates from remote digital sources. The process of measuring data at the source and transmitting it automatically is called telemetry. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure.”

Policing worldwide is witnessing drastic changes in the wake of emerging digitalism in almost all spheres of life,  including law enforcement too. In last fifteen years, this trend is speeding and expanding beyond imagination due to the development of technologies of social media as well as telemetric surveillance. The introduction and advancement  in the areas of ‘simulated justice, forensic investigations, biometric data, automated intervention in vehicle control, facial recognition software, also minor public order infractions’ and many other algorithmic monitoring appliances have added much to the meteoric rise in telemetric policing model in many advanced and high-tech countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan and many others. However, police telemetry is yet to receive any political attention in Pakistan.

Pakistan has also begun to think but not yet in a true techno sense but only some cops are captivated by this idea and try professionally on individual levels to implement technologies such as the one in point. Islamabad, KPK, NHMP and FIA are worth a few police departments who are trying to rise equal to the challenge and who badly needs some financial support on the part of the government to meet the expenses of new technology.

Karachi and Lahore police departments have also begun some of the telemetric policing functions but in piecemeal, not in Toto and not in all spheres. Basically Telemetric methodologies involve distant control mechanisms such as CCTV and other cameras use excessively as is the case in London and other cities where every activity is monitored silently and minutely without showing too much police on the roads and streets and where every police vehicle is digitally monitored as to what the on-duty cops are doing and where are they right at the moment of checking in real time. This enables control to respond to any emergency very well in time and effectively. Lahore police have gone for integrated command and control centers called IC3 which also perform same functions of surveillance. In police, we always need to monitor first our police and then public and their criminal activity. Similarly, safe city project of Islamabad police also involves similar telemetric surveillance systems of command and control using cameras.

In telemetric policing we monitor police through tracker chips in their vehicles, safety cameras in their vehicles and their cell phones; while to the public through CCTV and Cyber detection instruments used to monitor social media content, for example, hate material. Lahore police are good with adopting police force surveillance command and control but not public and their activities to the required extent. While on the contrary, Karachi police are good at monitoring public but poor and no system of digital monitoring of police officials on duty. Video Conference system was introduced in Sindh police by worthy IGP Mr. Iqbal Mehmood in 2014 when he was IGP Sindh. He used to talk to DPOs and DIGs of distant places daily in terms of news about crime and any disorderly or untoward situation. This was very effective as well as cost-effective. This was also time and resource saver as nobody holding important public positions was to leave for two to three days and travel four to eight hours one side of his or her journey to attend IGP meetings.

Many digital policing experts believe that the new telemetric policing technologies are perfect, accurate, tireless, reliable, cost-effective, and productive. Once installed such technologies require no much expenses for maintenance or wear and tear as do others things likes horses, dogs, and other animals or human spies require. When violations or offenses are identified through telemetric processes, a lot of revenue is generated in the shape of fines. Thus, it goes without saying that the telemetric policing methods go a long way in performing policing functions by registering offenses and infractions directly and more efficiently.

In the wake of challenges we face today in Pakistan, adoption of telemetric policing is as important as biometric, forensic, cyber and any other digital or scientific model. The information revolution has enhanced beyond measure the impact of this embedding telemetric policing into a fully digitalized criminal justice procedures and sanctions which are performed ‘online’.

If we look at very recent CCTV footages of the kidnapping incident of Barrister Syed Owais Ali Shah we will find that how important they are, though due to faulty cameras with low pixels capacity installed by government contractors in Karachi yet these footages helped police to make some sense of how everything was executed and which vehicle was used. Something is better than nothing; but had we been able to have better cameras strategically placed, we would have been able to locate the kidnappee until now. This is how corruption and hence inefficient policing methodologies are eating into the vitals of public peace.

Here are some suggestions in respect of going telemetric in policing here in our part of the world. First, for the adoption of telemetry in policing on a uniform basis by all police departments countrywide, The National Police Bureau must issue guidelines regarding calling details on budgetary requirements through SNEs analysis and their present use of telemetric technology assessing each department’s present capacity so that its further additions could be identified. Secondly, All eight or ten police departments in Pakistan must do three things: (a), appoint a focal person who must not necessarily be a police officer but digital expert. who may be hired or his/her post be created like forensic experts for permanent appointment as a separate cadre; (b) All police department should Submit detailed reports of their present capacity or the technology application level (c) Budgetary capacity and requirements for further adoption of telemetric technology by all police departments. Thirdly, NPB may be tasked to shortlist the apparatus and appliances to be purchased, how and from where. Fourthly,  National Highways and Motorways Police (NHMP), Islamabad Police, Lahore Police, Karachi police, KPK police and other police departments who are bit advanced must share their experiences of telemetric policing methodologies.

last but not the least, telemetric policing is not all policing but part of it and its adoption means the addition to what we are doing. It never calls for relinquishing the older methods. It is a way of improving the areas of policing that do not fall under telemetric methodologies may better be explored separately as for example forensic methods which are vital for investigations.

In the wake of above compelling reasons to improve efficiency, going telemetric has become the call of the day for police departments in Pakistan on an urgent footing.  Especially in their major cities, this appears to have become inevitable now. Any delay or dithering will cost us an irreparable damage.

WRITER is a senior police officer at police service of Pakistan.

The Lone Wolf Terrorism

J. J. Baloch

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A lone-wolf terrorist is one who commits violent acts in support of a group, a movement, or an ideology, but who does so alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. The hearts of experts of counter-terrorism miss a beat as what to do with lone wolfs.

Many studies surrounding the reasons behind the concept unveil that too many checks, evenings of state-sponsored terrorism, strict policies of immigration, unavailability of any local command structure due to pro-active policing in western world and abroad have given birth to the emergence of internet based groups who were living in geographically isolated and far away regions but using cyber connectivity, which in its initial years was out of the monitoring of law enforcement agencies due to strict privacy policies, the extremist ideologues created their cyber clientele to preach their grievances, giving birth to a mega cause to pursue.

Things got much clearer and much dangerous after the emergence of social media sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other sites __leading to the age of explosive content which we are living now.

We found cases like the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Oklahoma City Bombing, or even 9/11 attacks carried out by “lone wolves.” We found that in 24 cases between 2013 and 2015, 22 were labelled “lone wolves” even though only a third actually involved a solitary attacker. This research coincides with evidence found from pre-2013 studies.”
In order to keep police away from the command structure or being able to disclose the network, ISIS and Da’aish promote the lone wolf terrorism by design so that in case one is arrested then he or she may not know anything more than himself or herself with the intention to pre-empt the arrest of the rest of group.

Why terrorists adopt lone wolf policy? To quote Tures who argues: “In order to carry out their asymmetric warfare, terrorist organisations would need attackers beyond the normal network. Terrorists would seek to recruit such disgruntled individuals to the cause, and let them figure out how an attack could be carried out on their own. These terror groups sacrificed command and control power over these new followers. But, in theory, such new recruits could be harder to track, and stop.”

One of the many leading trademarks of the lone-wolf terrorists is revealing their plans long before committing an act of violence. Researchers unwrap that lone wolfs seek public attention and recognition for their cause in so doing. Another landmark lone wolfs, according to researchers, is targeting of uniformed police and military personnel primarily. In such attacks, high-velocity firearms are now the weapons of choice. Prior to 9/11, lone-wolf terrorists didn’t attack a single member of the US or even Pakistan military by design, let alone by default incidents.

According to researchers at different international forums, more than 80% of lone wolf terrorists disclose publically in advance their plans to commit terrorism. Researchers Mark Hamm and Ramon Spaaj in a report, which analysed 98 cases of lone-wolf terrorism in America between 1940 and 2013 have identified a large number of signatures.
Such examples of lone-wolf terrorists abound: Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and injured many more in 2009 Fort Hood Shooting, Paul Ciancia killed one TSA officer in 2013, and in similar vein, the marathon bombings in Boston, Paris attack in 2015, Brussels attacks in 2016 and also failed French train attack and many more to refer. Besides this, in 2014 Canada witnessed a series of lone-wolf attacks inspired by radicalism.

Time Magazine October 23, 2014, Naina Bajekal mentions that Zehaf-Bibeau killed a Canadian soldier outside parliament in Ottawa and “Martin Rouleau-Couture drove his car into two military members, killing one before he was fatally shot by police, and a month after Alton Nolen beheaded a co-worker in Nebraska. All three appeared to be recent converts to Islam.”These all lone wolfs publically shared their designs through email, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Post casts and other social media ways.

Elaborating its complexities, Victoria Bekiempis quotes Barton’s briefing in Newsweek dated 13th September 2015 in these words: “ISIS has embraced a diffuse, ‘lone wolf’ model, which encourages unaffiliated independent operators to do whatever damage they can with whatever is at hand…This threat is decentralised and much harder to detect than threats orchestrated by Al-Qaeda. ISIL’s alarmingly effective messaging—as refined as anything found on Madison Avenue or in Hollywood—reaches marginalised, solitary actors. These are terrorists who largely operate outside the kind of command-and-control systems, or cells, that we have learned to penetrate and dismantle.”

She further adds: “Bratton and the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, John Miller, “have said many times that the ‘lone wolf’ type of potential attack seems to be a more likely scenario” than the large-scale attacks typically organized by Al-Qaeda, Stephen P. Davis, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of public information, tells Newsweek in an e-mail. This would include lone wolves inspired by the terrorist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL).”

Professor of Political science, LaGrange College in Georgia, John A. Tures is of the view that the lone wolf terrorism is a myth and a false flag terrorism; They maintain: “The myth of lone wolf terrorist is one that assumes terrorists are born that way. They are lifelong solitary individuals, akin to the Unabomber, striking at a completely random target, only to disappear into the shadows, without a hint to law enforcement. But that’s not always the case…Terrorists are actually more likely to be made, not born. We found that such lone attackers tend to be male, a little more likely to have more than a high school education, and have experienced a recent change, like a lost job, a broken relationship, a move to a new area, or something that altered one’s traditional life.”

Respecting the findings of the critic lone wolfs, I am of the view that lone wolfs are the reality not because who makes them or how are they born or not but because it is part of their strategy to keep terrorist activity preparations secret unless it matures into a violent act with a design to skip police preemption.

The more lonely one feels or become, it is more likely for him or her to resort to social media outlet for his or her emotional and intellectual outbursts. So there is a greater likelihood of future attacks in Pakistan so we must ensure strict social media surveillance through appropriate digital intelligence.

Writer is senior police officer from police service of Pakistan