mobile menace

the editor of the daily dawn wrote an interesting editorial on mobile phone thefts in the city. the gist of which was some pressure on the government to take action vis-a-vis implementing steps that would somehow reduce the market for used mobile phones. a nice idea, perhaps, but a totally defeatist approach. why force the citizens of the city to buy new (read “expensive”) sets just because the government cannot guarantee their safety?

i think that there is something else that needs to be done here. something more radical.

firstly, we all know that the service providers can monitor the imea (or whatever they’re called) numbers of the cell phones in which sim cards are installed. we also know that they have records of cnic numbers for each sim that they issue. this gives a simple relationship, (set – sim – person). all that is really required is that the user of any given sim register his or her current cellphone with the service provider. and dealers of used phones be required to get clearance from all the service providers (or a centrally maintained database) before entering into a transaction. further, the concept of a bill of sale be introduced. anyone buying a used set should be entitled to recieve a copy of the seller’s cnic and a sale deed of some sort certifying the sale. i agree theres a lot of documentation involved. also that it would require major expenditure by the cell phone companies. but taxing corporations who mint millions in this company is certainly within the scope of the government’s powers.

but even that is not enough. street crime has to be cut down. i speak as a victim, one who has been mugged threee times already. and the only way to do that is efficeint law enforcement. a police mobile with the standard eik-eik-char deployment of one asi, one driver and four jawans is neither economical nor effective. what is needed is a split of these huge teams. utilise them effectively. for instance put the asi and the driver on motorbikes, put two of the guys in a cheap police cruiser like a revo or a cuore (they use civillian cars like santros and cultuses in lahore) and put two guys on foot patrol. tha way they cover the same area a lot better. also better lighting in the streets and a few strategically placed cameras couldn’t hurt.

if given a mandate, i’m sure there are several ngos in karachi, like the cplc for instance, who could give the capital city police some genuinely effective ideas for good policing.

11 Comments so far

  1. verysmart (unregistered) on July 9th, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

    The greatest evil is the astonishing ability of men to remain indifferent after witnessing an act of evil.

    I say, we all shall do something about it, how about we start keeping a bottle of Acid in our cars, and whenever somebody tries to snatch our propert, money, cars, mobile etc, we can just throw soem hot acidy treat at their faces…

    We all have to coem forward and when we witness soemthing happeing to a fellow citizen lets just pounce upon those evil creatures, if we start to holding them and burning them alive right on the crome scene before the police can intervere, the message will be devlivered to all such elements, that we the citizens hav already had enough and we will make everyone pay for their deeds right on the spot, and we will not give in to the low lives.

    Lets do something revolutionary and make these low lives pary for their lives


  2. mansoor (unregistered) on July 9th, 2006 @ 8:07 pm

    verysmart: its good that you mentioned this. This excatly what happens in lahore (according to my sources) people stand up for their rights, and can even budge the police into doing something about it. (not the burning on the spot thing) and hence, lahore is still quite a safe place to live. In karachi, we just raise the height of our walls to feel safe, or hire body/security gaurds.


  3. verysmart (unregistered) on July 9th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    mansoor..
    Lahore’s street crimes are non linked to any political parties, unlike ours, in karachi the guys with the guns menacing the streets, are related to some political backgrounds or has earned backing of political parties (the islamists and the representative party of the city) which uses them for their own means. thats why they are being bailed out of the police action, or at times even the police themsleves are involved, comparing to karachi’s gangs lahori armed men are simply street thugs.

    If the people of karachi can stand up on thier own and decides to do something about it, the problem can be very much addressed


  4. Cy (unregistered) on July 9th, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

    Trying to hit back at the robbers is plain foolhardy. Do you really want to risk death in order to hang on to your mobile phone? While the police and politicians remain involved in crime, the robbers will continue to operate with impunity. In the meantime all you can really do is tone down the conspicuous consumption.


  5. verysmart (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 2:03 am

    CV.. now this is classical defeatist approach… this is what I call the real evill .. the ability to remain indifferent despite of whatever is happinging around you.


  6. Cy (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 6:49 am

    Verysmart: Your idea is anything but smart. I wasn’t able to post the links here to the various incidents in which people were killed trying to hold on their mobiles, but I’m sure you’re aware of them.

    Your welcome to hang on to your phone in any way you consider appropriate, but I think it’s downright dangerous to advocate that others follow your advice. Discretion really is the better part of valour sometimes.


  7. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 10:30 am

    whenever somebody tries to snatch our propert, money, cars, mobile etc, we can just throw soem hot acidy treat at their faces…

    you look to me inspired by Indian Movie “GangaJal”


  8. verysmart (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    guys.. come on .. the last thing I would do is to wrestle with a thug, my point is… atleast try and feel the anger to that extent. SO that you enable yourselves to do something about it or atleast get yourself to support someone if they decided to do that rather than just hide behind the comfort of your iron clad houses. Look around you the more we have tried to secure ourselves the more we have encouraged these guys to be bolder and more fierce and grow in number and confidence than ever before.

    Ask yourselevs this question… has your technique of dealing with this toruble worked soo far??? The answer will be anything but a yes… so why not try soemthing else now?


  9. verysmart (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    Abdul Sami, I only watch Amir Khan’s movies.. so dont know abt this one mate.


  10. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

    VERYSMART insttead of throwing ACID why don’t you implement Islamic mode of Punishments. Cut the hands of Thieves and see how dramatically the Crime ratio will drop.


  11. shobz (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

    i am surprised the government isnt doing anything about the mobile menace. the point of using a cell phone is that you can use it anywhere. i never knew that crime would go up to these levels in karachi. i have spent around two years in london and not once have i seen such a high rate of cell phone theft over there. they have mobile phone theft there but then its not like karachi. i open the newspaper everyday to find out that at least 70 phones are stolen everyday. i dont even bother taking a wallet or my phone with me when i go outside. this has to stop.



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