Pakistan

Anwar ul Haq, the facilitator of the Lahore blast which killed around 15 people and injured several, is now behind bars just after four days of the incident, but how was it that forces managed to trace him out?

He was caught because of his image captured through closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed around Lahore under the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) to ensure safety of the citizens and reduce crime and bust terrorist activities.

In the midst of the news regarding security lapses doing the rounds on the media, an effort carried out by the Punjab government by using technology for tackling miscreants is being played down.

It is the duty of the media to highlight the shortcomings in the government policies, but that does not mean that positive steps should be ignored completely.

The arrest, which became possible through identification of suspect through CCTV footage, is not only a huge success, it is also a clear message to terrorists that they are not free to kill people at any place in the country and escape without any consequences.

The CCTV cameras have brought the city under the watchful eyes of the Command and Control Centre, which monitor the movements of people.

So far, around 8023 cameras have been placed in Lahore at different places, including public institutions, key infrastructure, public roads, crime hotspots, VVIP routes, entry and exit points and public places. The PSCA had identified 2000 locations for installing more than 10,000 cameras for surveillance.

Cameras have also been installed in Islamabad and Karachi to keep an eye on the people involved in inhumane activities.

It cannot be denied that there are indeed loopholes in political and security systems but there is a need to plug them with joint efforts and continue the “good projects” by launching them in other parts of the country.

The projects of enhancing surveillance will not only help to tackle terrorism but also overcome the street crimes making the citizens safer in Pakistan.