Sunday, 19 April 2015

Safety tips for everyone 3/3

Ways to Help Prevent a Child Abduction/ Molestation


The help you can offer to young children is somewhat different from what is useful for an older person. Below are some suggestions: -
  • Take a full picture every six months for children aged 6 and younger, annually for older children. Make note of birthmarks and other distinguishing features including medical/ dental history and fingerprints.
  • Teach your children their full name, your name, address, and phone number.
  • Listen attentively when your children talk about a man or a woman they met in your absence.
  • You must listen to a child even when you do not want to listen i.e., never ignore your children.
  • Teach your children not to wander of. Stay in sight all the time and to avoid lonely places.
  • Keep your children in sight all the times, when your children are away from the person in-charge.
  • Teach them never to go anywhere with anyone who does not know family codeword.
  • Don't let the children accept rides from anyone with whom you haven't made previous arrangements even if they are close to you or your friends and family.
  • Never let a child go alone in a public place, stroll or car, not even for a minute.
  • Tell your children about abduction problems in a calm and simple way.
  • Teach them it is OK to run away or scream if someone is making him or her do something he or she should not do.
  • Children should not take candies or other gifts from strangers or anyone else.
  • Children should know that no one has the right to touch any part of their body.
  • Accompany your children on the day of issuance of report cards to school.

Value of Life

Your life is priceless; Value it !!
  • Don't frequently visit video shops and avoid public billiard/ snooker/ games places.
  • Never ever become friendly with strangers.
  • Always keep someone informed or note your fears.
  • Identify the friends you can be proud of.
  • Say NO to drugs.

How Can You Help?

  • Educate others what you have learnt about personal safety.
  • Report every suspicious behaviour you encounter.
  • Offer moral and financial support to Police.
  • Sponsor neighbourhood watch and ensure following:
    • Organize proper garbage disposal of your neighbourhood.
    • Keep your area lit.
    • Plant more trees.
    • Organize police patrolling.
    • Arrange awareness talks/ programmes.

Mobile Phone Theft

 

  • Out of Sight: Try to keep your phone hidden, specially when you are not using it.
  • PIN Security: Always make sure your PIN is activated. This will prevent unauthorised calls being made from your phone, if it is stolen.
  • Phone Security Code: Remember to use your phone security lock codes. this is an extra PIN number which will prevent another SIM card from working in your cell phone. To set up this option, you will need to change the generic security code: 
    • Nokia: 12345
    • Ericsson: 0000
    • Motorola: 000000
    • Sony: 0000
    • Sagem: 0000
    • Samsung: 00000000
    • Siemens: No code, just enter your new code.
  • Top up Sensibly: Avoid topping up a pay-as-you-go phone in public. It may expose that there is credit in the account making it ever more attractive to thieves.
  • Leave it and You may Lose it: Don't leave your phone unattended in a car, or put it in a shop counter.
  • Be Alert, Be Safe: Avoid using your phone when you are on the street after dark, sometimes you may feel safer talking on the phone whilst walking but it can be safer to call someone at the beginning of your journey and again when you reach your destination.
  • Curb Your Greed: It is best not to reply to the text messages offering you prizes and gifts. You might end up losing your credit/ balance or can get involved into a difficult situation leading towards terrorism.
  • Note Down your IMEI No.: Your 15 digits IMEI No. is marked on the sticker beneath the battery or it appears on the phone screen when you key in *#06#. Make a note of this number and keep it safe.
  • Call Your Service Provider: If your phone is lost/ stolen, immediately call your service provider to block calls from your account so that no unauthorised calls can be made.
  • Contact the Police (Help line 15): Report the loss or theft of your phone to the Police as soon as possible.
  • Be Smart, Back Up: Losing your phone can be a hassle because it can also mean losing all your contact numbers, so try to take frequent backups of your phone/ SIM card.     

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Safety Tips for everyone 2/3

How to Handle Kidnapping for Ransom

 

  • Give the kidnapper your land line number having caller ID and name to contact.
  • Be calm, family must inform police on emergency immediately, for instructions on how to deal with the situation.
  • Decide upon a negotiator within the family.
  • Father and son should; preferably, not travel to work together. 
  • Do not carry cheque book unless necessary. Write fake/ coded balance on counterfoil. Do not disclose the actual financial status.
  • Discuss within family how to respond to emergencies i.e. kidnapping etc.
  • How to escape a kidnapping situation with family still inside the vehicle:
    • If someone has taken you hostage by sitting in the back seat with the gun, be calm. If they tell you to move to the next seat, just step out of the car and then refuse to accompany them. If you have your children in the car, tell them softly but firmly to step out. Tell the kidnapper to take your purse, car, cell phone, and whatever is inside and try to assure that you will not report this incident for an hour but refuse to accompany them.
    • If they tell you to drive off while they are sitting in the back, go ahead and drive. View the road and keep your car amongst other vehicles. Try to come to the traffic signal with red light and bang the car in front. This will create a commotion. Show your jittery and get down pacifying the driver of the car you struck with. The kidnappers will get down and escape at the first opportunity.

Office Security

  • Have a designated person for locking and unlocking your premises at the start and end of the business day. It is best not to operate on the basis of 'first employee in and last employee out lock up policy'. Avoid leaving entrance doors unlocked and unattended.
  • Where electronic access control is in place, issue access cards on the basis of 'least access to perform a specific job'. 24/7 access should only be assigned to employees who really require it as part of the nature of their job. Properly manage missing, lost or stolen cards immediately. Request employees to produce their assigned cards at least on quarterly basis.
  • Request employees to wear their access cards for marking strangers. To discourage 'piggybacking', ensure closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras are installed at entrances.
  • To help prevent theft of proprietary information, a 'clean desk' policy should be instituted. To ensure compliance, inspections should be conducted every two to four weeks for first three months and at least quarterly thereafter. Use of self inspection check list can encourage employees to keep their desks clean, an secure sensitive data as well, when they leave their work area unattended.
  • Laptops and PCs, especially those considered to be 'state-of-the-art' are prime targets for thieves. Preventing computer theft begins with mail room, reception, shipping/ receiving etc, should be secured with cable locks or preferably with plate locks. This will give an impression to thieves that all computers in the office are protected. Installing secure docking stations, on roller shelves that can be rolled into the lockable furniture when the employee is leaving.his/ her work area. If employees spend most of their time in the office, issuing them a desktop instead of highly portable easily concealed laptop can mitigate the risk of laptop theft. Outside the office, employees should be encouraged to carry laptops in a sports bag or briefcase, instead of manufacturers bag.
  • Secure stairwells either by locking them or installing suitable electronic devices and card readers. where crossover floors can't be locked, consider renovating the floors so that they are located outside of the protected area.

Secure Property

  • Preferably cash, household articles etc should be insured.
  • Keep valuables in bank.
  • Give special instructions to bank that if the signature is deliberately being extended, on a cheque, take the person in custody and call police.
  • When having a new chequebook issued, count its leaves in serial order and exact quantity as stated. A missing cheque can be used for fraud by the bank/ own office staff.     

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Safety tips for everyone 1/3

Individual protective measures while undertaking any move

 

  • Let someone know about your destination before leaving the premises.
  • Before stepping into any vehicle, look around for any suspicious person watching your departure.
  • Before driving, lock the doors of vehicle and fasten seatbelt. 
  • Use vehicle mirrors to check if anyone is following you or otherwise.
  • Avoid unknown short-cuts and use main routes.
  • Avoid poorly lit areas.
  • Avoid quiet residential/ remote areas.
  • If possible, try avoiding overcrowded public places and plan your journey before hand.
  • Do not use set patterns of movement.
  • Use random timetable for walk/ jogging and outings.
  • Keep changing routes while approching office/ workplace and living areas.
  • While driving, always be vigilant about your surroundings to avoid getting into suspicious situations/ traps.
  • Maintain distance from the car in front giving enough space to getaway in case of emergency.
  • Do not give way to suspicious vehicles flashing headlights from behind to corner you at signal.
  • Keep in your lane to avoid traffic jams.
  • If someone suspicious blocks the road, try to use exit points; even at the cost of damaging you car, to escape to blockage.
  • Avoid giving lifts to strangers coming accidentally in front or even standing with family, depicting fake emergency situation.
  • Develop the habit of using rear and side view mirrors of vehicle and check who is following you. In case of any suspicion, stay calm, drive fast and do not approach your residence or a friend's place. Try to make your way to the nearest safe house like police station, rescue 1122/ military check post etc.

Security of vehicle

  • Install vehicle alarms and satellite vehicle tracking system which caters for security and safety of your family.
  • When approaching a parked car, ensure that strangers are not around.
  • Do not leave children in the parked vehicle. Avoid sitting in the vehicle on roadsides or shopping centres.
  • Instruct drives to park the car at a prominent place, lock it and stand away from the car while waiting. 

Security of family

  • Do not display your name on the gate of your apartment/ home, just the address.
  • Auto lock system at gate and doors connected to speaker system can improve security. To avoid security breach, use closed circuit TV around the house and entrance porch.
  • Intercom with coded identification to communicate with guards/ servants to allow across is very effective against any threat.
  • Guards should be positioned on terrace with censored light activated around the house.
  • Employees must depost:
    • ID Card.
    • Photo.
    • Reference.
    • Registration with police for servants, maids, guards, sweepers etc.
  • Keep bedrooms locked and use predetermined coded words for opening at all times. Identify restricted areas of the house for servants, specially males. This will also prevent burglars from accessing the rooms of other family members.
  • Do not be threatened by dacoits/ burglars to disclose hidden cash/ jewellery on the mere threat of killing a family member. Make a small safe place where nobody looks for valuables. Preferably distribute your valuables at different secure places. Be calm, do not be intimidate, act scared, start crying etc. They want to scare you to get the right information giving you a chance to lie.

Personal safety

  • Print only plain visiting cards.
  • Discourage display of mobile phone by children.
  • Don't carry weapons.
  • Don't drive without driving license.
  • Late night outings should be avoided.
  • Be careful whilst inside and when leaving lockers, banks, money changers, and approaching ATMs.
  • When approaching any of the above, visually scan the area before getting out of your car. If you see something or someone suspicious like a person just standing around or many people in a nearby vehicle but nobody specially at the ATM, leave the area immediately. In case you sense like "something is just not right", play safe and go to another ATM place. When your transaction is completed, immediatelt take your property, ATM card, cash, receipt etc and leave. You can always count your money later in the safety of your car or home.
  • When in the lockers to take jewellery home, wear it on; never carry it in your purse. Put your dupatta/ scarf around while leaving. Observe the outside area as explained above.
  • Bank and money changing booths are always hot favourite for criminals. They will try to scan and observe while standing next to you or waiting outside for you. Be extremely cautious and alert when returning.
  • Share a family code for identifying genuine phone messages sent through strangers/ acquaintances for its authenticity.
  • Use your cell phone to call the place/ house you intend to visit. It helps establishing your last location and movement.
  • Do not leave old people on their own at the mercy of mere servants.
  • Always get a digital phone line installed with caller's ID.
  • Take care when photographed at parties, those can be misused.
  • Never get blackmailed. Face it courageously at the very first point and get the blackmailers apprehended.
  • Do not make phone friends.
  • Do not encourage/ indulge in chatting to strangers over the internet.
  • When facing extortion/ threats, call police.
  • Certain criminal elements employ a technique to trace/ identify your location through any bugging device concealed in any presentable souvenir as a marketing material. To avoid such attempts, it is advised not to accept such gifts/ souvenirs from such strangers/ unidentified representatives of any company etc.
  • Such gifts/ souvenirs may also contain explosive material which can be a timed or radio controlled device. It can explode any time and can endanger your life and property.      
Security tips mentioned in this post are intellectual property of AGL. These were initially published by AGL in a pamphlet titled " Security Tips for Pakistani Citizen". These remain intellectual property of AGL and are being posted as a series of 3 posts of security tips for the benefit of general audience. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Measures to improve security situation



In continuity to the previous post where the causes of deterioration of security situation in Pakistan were identified, below are some suggestions to perk up the situation. The suggestions have been divided in two main categories namely institutional measures (at governmental and madrassahs level) and individual measures (to include every citizen individually or as a member of community).
Institutional Measures

  • Measures to be taken by the Government. Government (to include federal government, provincial governments, cabinet, ministry of interior, ministry of religious affairs, ministry of defence and all their relevant departments) have to play leading role and needs to take bold steps to restore law and order in the country. Bold steps may be bitter and politically ominous for any government in power but those are necessary for national integrity and sovereignty. Political leadership must realize that their survival and gaining power is conditional to peaceful internal environment in the country. Some measures to be taken by the government are as under: -
    • Political Will to Address Security Issues Across the Board. Political parties and government must keep their personal association and political benefits aside and deal with the issues impartially. During decision making process and consultation, national interest must be given precedence over all other political gains, personal or political alliances with anti-state groups. Stern and speedy action must be taken to nip the evil in the bud. Indecisiveness and using delaying tactics encourages trouble makers to multiply. Resultantly they grow large enough to be easily controlled.
    • Improvements in Educational syllabi. Polluted minds of the youth are lethal for integrity of any nation. Central and provincial governments must revise educational syllabus to ensure that any hateful content is removed. Instead of hateful content, syllabus must include true Islamic teachings of peace, harmony, brotherhood, tolerance, co-existence, and unity. Students must be taught the spirit of Islam; a religion for universal peace and blessings, and not to divide them in different groups and sub-groups.
    • Monitoring of Madrassahs. Religious schools (madrassahs) are vital for providing religious teachings of Islam and to educate people on the Islamic code of conduct vis-a-vis modern days’ environments. Madrassahs are doing a great service in this regard but unfortunately some of them are being exploited by foreign countries to use these madrassahs for spreading hate, training militants, and enrolling youth for their nefarious aims. In return the madrassahs involved in such activities are heavily funded by such foreign countries. Government has to play her part in monitoring the madrassahs to make sure that: -
      • Syllabus being taught in madrassahs is in line with national policy of unity, harmony and brotherhood, instead of spreading hate against others for worldly gains.
      • No madrassahs are involved in recruitment of Jehadis and training thereof. All such madrassahs must be banned and sealed irrespective of their political and/ or religious affiliations with any group/ sect/ pressure group etc.
      • Funding of madrassahs must be properly monitored and their accounts must be audited by independent auditors to keep a track of their sources of income, details of expenditures, and to keep a check on any irregularities.
      • Central syllabus must be prepared for madrassahs to ensure that no hateful books or literature against national integrity and unity is being taught.
      • Hateful speeches, spread of hateful literature and publications from the platform of madrassahs must be discontinued. Use of loudspeakers and content of sermons for Eids/ Friday prayers be centrally controlled/ monitored.
      • Religious groups/ politico-religious parties must be taken into confidence and consulted before formulation of foreign policy about any international issue. Once the policy has been formulated no group to be allowed to propagate/ mobilize general public against it. All such activities must be considered as anti-state and should be punishable under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
    •    Control on Protests/ Processions and Public Gatherings. In a democratic country, people have the basic right to freedom speech, freedom of expression, freedom of political opinion and freedom to demonstrate against any decision/ legislation made by the government. These rights of people must be respected but on the other hand it must also be ensured that such freedoms do not snatch away the rights of other citizen like protection, business, movement, and schooling etc. Government needs to formulate laws and implement them strictly to ensure that no unlawful activities are permissible under the blanket protection of freedom to citizens. Some steps suggested are as under: -
      • Political/ religious gatherings on roads must be strictly disallowed through legislation. A place may be reserved in each city/ town for all such activities and no blockade of roads be permitted under any circumstances. Offenders must be punished severely under PPC.
      • Burning of tyres during processions/ protests should be declared unlawful. These burnt tyres not only increase pollution and cause respiratory diseases but also decolour the surroundings thus destroying the ambience and environment of areas astride main roads. Offenders must also be punished under PPC.
      • Before any procession/ protest the management of such event must sign an agreement with local administration and ensure that any damage, loss, destruction, theft of public and/ or private property shall be avoided. In case of any such losses, a neutral assessment committee be tasked to assess the loss and that must be recovered from the organizers of such processions/ protests. Defaulters must be punished under PPC.
    • Display of Arms in Public. The culture of show of power by displaying arms in public by the private guards of elites must be disallowed. No public display of arms by any person should be allowed other than Police/ CAF/ Military personnel on duty. Strict punitive action must be ensured against offenders irrespective of whatever pressure Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs) have to bear to implement this law.
    • Depoliticizing of LEAs. To ensure that laws pertaining to improving security situation are implemented, it is imperative that LEAs must be free from any political pressures/ favours. Heads of the LEAs must be given free hand to take action against any violations of laws, arrest/ detain offenders without considering any political/ religious/ social/ influential pressures. They must also be free to do postings, transfers, promotions, demotions and all other departmental administrative actions as per the rules and merits and no political or other pressure groups should be allowed to interfere in their routine professional performance.
    • Administrative Measures. Local administration must ensure that police, government employees and other responsible staff are aware of potential security threats and are mentally/ physically prepared to thwart against any eventuality. Certain protective measures to be taken by local police include: -
      • Maintaining a list of all tenants living in the area with their personal data/ copy of CNIC etc.
      • Keep a vigilant watch over movement of strangers entering/ exiting the area.
      • Vehicle movement and pattern of movement of any suspicious people/ vehicles/ motorbikes etc.
      • System of secret monitoring of street hawkers/ house maids/ gardeners and other domestic labourers.   
  • Measures to be taken by Madrassahs. Role of Madrassahs cannot be undermined as they share the burden of Government in providing education, food, protection, and financial assistance not only to the pupils but also their families. These madrassahs are sponsored and funded by NGOs, religious groups/ organization and locally by committees of citizen. Most of these madrassahs are doing great service to a very noble cause and are educating children of those families who cannot afford sending them to regular schools due to economic hardships. Some of the madrassahs, unfortunately, have been reported to sponsor terrorist organizations, banned religious groups, militants and other anti-state players because of two main reasons. First – their sectarian association with those groups and secondly – greed for monetary gains. Leadership of madrassahs and their organizing bodies must review the strategy and ensure that no black sheep are permitted to destroy the reputation of madrassahs as an institution. A self analysed and well thought out code of conduct must be formulated and strictly followed by madrassahs. Some recommended measures madrassahs must adhere to are given below: -  
    • Non-Branding of Mosques. No mosques must be branded as a Devbandi, Wahabi, Hanafi, Shia, Brelvi etc. All mosques have to be considered as house of worship of Allah and any one must be allowed to enter in any mosque and offer prayers according to their own faith (fiqh). This will help in creating a wave of brotherhood and unity and will bring different sects closer to each other.
    • Teaching of Common Aspects. Basic beliefs of Islam are common in every sect of Islam; the minor differences are when it comes to practices. Religious scholars must make joint efforts to highlight the common aspects and not exploit the differences for the sake of their personal gains.
    • Interaction between Scholars of Different Sects. Electronic media has made some efforts to make the scholars of different sects sit together and discuss common aspects accepted by all. Such efforts must also be done by the scholars themselves to visit each other’s madrassahs, participate in each other’s religious gatherings, show respect to the customs practiced by opposite sects and must curb the tendency of declaring each other as nonbelievers (kafir).
    • Disassociation from Militants. Management of madrassahs must ensure that there madrassahs are not associated with any militant group, recruiter, solicitor, or helper of such extremists/ terrorists groups. Madrassahs must make sure that the students enrolled in their institutions are taught the religious preaching in their true spirit without any worldly gains.
    • Respect for Holy Personalities. All religious leaders must ensure that their followers respect holy personalities of opposite sects. No one should be allowed to show slightest disrespect for the family, wives, and companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace is upon him). Scholars must educate common people to refrain from use of abusive language and calling names to anyone as it is strictly prohibited in Islam and under no circumstances can be termed as any service to the religion.
Personal Measures
Personal measures include measures to be taken at individual level and as a group of citizen in daily life. Every person must be responsible to ensure following: -
  • Keep the movements of their children under strict observation to ensure that: -
    • They are not befriended with any negative elements in school, mosque, neighbourhood etc.
    • Ensure that no teacher in school/ madrassah or a visiting tutor at home is propagating them on any hateful content.
    • No one is trying to convince them to side with or join any militant group or militia and fight against the state.
    • They are not being brainwashed to support or be part of any suicidal mission.
  • Their donations or charity is going in positive hands and is not being used to fund any militant/ anti-state organizations.
  • Everyone must understand that understanding and following the religious teaching is the responsibility of every Muslim. Every Muslim must learn the beliefs and practices through study, research and analytical evaluation of Islamic history. Blindly following the preaching of any scholar, mullah or molvi is against the spirit of Islam.  
  • Religious affairs must not be left to Molvis only. Being Muslim it is the responsibility of every citizen to learn basic things like saying prayer call (azan) in the ears of a new born child, offering funeral prayers (namaz e janaza), and other such things themselves, without being dependent on religious clerics.
  • Must not support any act of hatefulness against anyone else despite any association, close relation, loyalty to any other association.
  • Must not participate in any anti-state protest, procession etc and if it is unavoidable, must not cause harm to any public/ private property during the protest.
  • Must understand that everyone is responsible for everyone’s own deeds so let others live and let them exercise their right of freedom to worship. No one will be answerable to what others have been practicing. If one is very keen to preach, preach according to Quranic instructions as mentioned in Holy Quran (16:125) Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” Always remember that use of force against your opponent means that you have run short of arguments to prove your point of view.
  • Never support, assist, side, protect, cooperate with any person having militant design or association with anti-state element even if they are your close relatives or blood relations.
  • Remain vigilant and if you observe any mischievous or suspicious activity around you, immediately report it to the authorities concerned.
  • Worship your political/ national/ social ideology but not the personalities. None of the religious, political or any other leader is infallible and every one of them can commit mistakes. Do not follow or defend them blindly. If they are wrong in any policy, argument, thought, idea etc, just be courageous to have difference of opinion with them.
  • Beware of all such persons/ groups/ media person/ press/ channel etc that preaches anti-state propaganda in the garb of modernization, liberalism, etc. Be loyal to Pakistan and ensure all our efforts are to safeguard and protect the interests of our beloved motherland.     

Monday, 13 April 2015

Security situation in Pakistan



Pakistan's security situation, for the last three decades, has been worst. Some factors, which played a vital role in deteriorating security situation and internal unrest, have been identified as under: -
  • Russian invasion of Afghanistan in late 70s. It resulted in mass migration of Afghan refugees to Pakistan. Pakistan sided with USA and decided to provide physical, financial, and material aid to Afghans. USA, through the assistance of Islamic clerics, declared the war against Russia as Holy War or Jehad. The outcome of Pakistan’s support and physical involvement in “Afghan Jehad” resulted in explosion of bombs and introduction of Kalashnikov culture in Pakistani Society.
  • Revolution in Iran was backed by Shia clergy. This raised alarm in neighbouring Wahabi based Arab countries’ governments like KSA, UAE, and Kuwait etc. Iranian revolutionary regime  also put sanctions and boycotted USA so USA openly sided with Arab countries and went into mutual defence pact in case of any invasion of KSA by any foreign countries. These forces initially engaged Iran in Gulf War when Iraq attacked Iranian territory by the blessing and backing of KSA and USA. After the war when the strategic objectives could not be achieved, a proxy war started in Pakistan. KSA funded and supported Deobandi Hanafi madrassahs in the garb of supporting Afghan Jehad. Iran on the other hand started funding Shia madrassahs. This caused increase of hateful feelings amongst different sects of Islam in Pakistan and murders of leaders, doctors, lawyers and common people from both sides worsened the security situation.
  • India; the neighbour on Eastern front, after having 3 armed conflicts, decided to intrude in the internal affairs covertly and her intelligence agency RAW started covert activities especially in Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. In Sindh, it assisted MQM; having soft corner for India, on the one hand and Sindhi Nationalist parties on the other who demanded liberation of Sindh. In Balochistan, RAW supported and funded separatist nationalist Balochis and they started armed struggle against the government and armed forces of Pakistan.
  • Creation of Taliban by the politico-religious parties and their unconditional support led to add oil on the burning fire. Parties like Jamat e Islami, Jamiat Ulema e Pakistan (JUI), and other likeminded parties had deep roots in people and they not only brain washed the youth to participate in Afghan war against USA but also funded Taliban by collecting heavy funds from common people.
  • Incident of 9/11 in the US and its consequences to curb Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan added further diminishing impact on national security of Pakistan. Those Jehadis who were fighting in Afghanistan siding Pakistan and USA revolted and started fighting against both Pakistan and US. This seriously damaged the security environment in the country and Pakistan faced brutal attacks on religious places of worships, killings of doctors, engineers, lawyers, and professionals at a mass scale and a series of suicide bombing took place in all corners of the country.
  • Due to unchecked and unhindered speeches, printing of hateful books and material against other sects as a result of Iran-Saudia proxy war in Pakistan, hateful resentment increased and spread even to local neighbourhood of masses. This resulted in split of society and widened the gap between different sects of Islam.
  • In Urban areas of Sind, especially in Karachi, MQM was backed by intelligence agencies of Pakistan to make them a powerful group against Pakistan Peoples’ Party and Jamat e Islami, who were two major political parties in Karachi and Hyderabad since long. MQM introduced armed wing for political gains and killed her opponents in Karachi and Hyderabad on a mass scale. This led to unrest in Karachi - once called the city of lights. This encouraged other political forces to raise their militant arms in their parties for survival and to keep the balance of power in Karachi. All these militant groups not only pressurised political opponents but also got engaged in negative activities like murders, kidnapping for ransom, vehicle snatching, tax collection from business community, and other street crimes. These crimes were mostly done without the knowledge of senior leadership of the political parties but there have been incidents that these crimes and unlawful acts were not only in the knowledge but were planned and executed under the direct supervision of top leadership.
  • Due to governmental support and religious sentiments of common people, Taliban fighting in Afghanistan gained overwhelming support in Pakistan. This led to creation of different religious militant organizations like Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Harkat ul Mujahideen, Khilafat Movement and many others who demanded enforcement of Shariah in Pakistan but the Shariah of their liking and under their rule. They rejected to accept the constitution of Pakistan, writ of the government, system of justice and federal courts, and announced to rebel and fight against anyone who did not follow their faction of Shariah.
  • As a result of proxy war between Iran and KSA being fought in Pakistan, the affairs did not limit to religious debates and propaganda through books and pamphlets. Foreign funding led to creation of extremist militant groups on both sides like Sipah e Sahaba, Lashker e Jhangvi on Deobandi and Wahabi side vis-a-vis Siapah e Muhammad etc on Shia side. These militants also played their role in killings and worsening the law and order situation in the country.
  • After upheaval of Kashmiris in 1988, which rose against the illegal occupation and aggression of India in the occupied and disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a number of Jehadi Organizations (most funded by the government) started enrolling young fighter to participate in Kashmir Jehad against India. This resulted in increase of private militia in Pakistan. Some of these groups actually participated in Kashmir Jehad but most engaged themselves in proxy war of Iran and KSA and started killing people from opposite sects living inside Pakistan.
Due to the unrest and political indecisiveness by the governments, Pakistan has suffered in the last 20 years on all fronts. Economically the country is doomed. It is facing power and energy crises, most of the industry at private sector has moved out to Bangladesh, Malaysia, and other countries. Foreign exchange is almost at the bare minimum level, nation is overburdened under heavy foreign debts and common man is facing problems like unemployment, low wages, and lack of basic facilities. Unfortunately political governments did not have the capacity, capability, human wisdom, and will to address the security issues of the country which was the root-cause of all the social ills. Pakistan, that was once about to get the status of “Asian Tiger” has gone below the standards of a sovereign nation due to political incompetency and appointment of nincompoop persons as ministers to make the decisions at national level.
Pakistan Army, however, as per its commitment for national integrity and sovereignty has once again taken the affairs in its hand. General Raheel Shareef, Chief of the Army Staff has taken stern decisions to address all the issues detrimental to national security. His decision to start a comprehensive destruction operation against terrorists, impartial operation to restore law and order in Karachi without taking any pressures from any group, strategic decision and diplomatic visits to USA, Afghanistan, China and Russia have started bearing fruit. As 2015 has started, Pakistan has seen much better security situation. Less of suicidal attacks in the country and almost none of target killing, vehicle snatching, and kidnapping for ransom has been reported in Karachi ever since Sindh Rangers raided MQM HQ at 90 and arrested criminals from the premises.       
 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Askari Guards (Private) Limited - Introduction

Askari Guards (Private) Limited aka AGL is a subsidiary of Army Welfare Trust (AWT). AGL commenced its operation in 1996. Through its countrywide network, AGL operates all over Pakistan with high quality sustenance capability in troubled areas. Right from its inception, focus of the management has been on provision of quality guarding services and state of the art security systems to our clients. In Pakistan's Security Industry, AGL is known and recognized as a trusted provider of guarding services to government departments, hotels, foreign missions, banks, schools, and well reputed multinational and national companies.
Over the years, the company has transitioned from a guarding service provider to a total security solution provider.AGL is now organized, armed and equipped to offer comprehensive security package to protect life and property, forestall unauthorized access, maintain order, detect explosives and bombs, deter criminals and terrorists attacks, and provide static and mobile security cover to cash and valuables. 

AGL Services

AGL offers following services to clients:
  • Security Services.
  • Cash-in-Transit (CIT) Services.
  • Security Training and Consultancy.
  • Special Guards with AK-47.
  • Close Protection/ VVIP Protection (ex SSG staff).

Security Services

Static and mobile security is one of the core services being provided by the company. AGL guards are deployed in the length and breadth of Pakistan to the satisfaction of most discerning clients to include embassies, government organizations, reputed multinational corporations, schools, and offices.
AGL security personnel undergo a stringent verification regime.
 AGL provides following security services:
  • Competent, ex-military guards to protect life and property of the clients.
  • Mobile escort services for protection on the move.
  • Technology solutions for comprehensive security of the premises.
  • Sniffer dogs for detection of explosives.
  • Security consultancy services.
  • Event security.
  • Provision of verification services for clients' local staff.
  • Provision of experienced ex-Army staff like drivers, peons, cooks, and waiters.

CIT Services

AGL is one of the leading cash transportation operators in Pakistan. Its salient features are:
  • Provides domestic land transportation, domestic air transportation, short and long term cash vaulting facility and ATM charging services.
  • Has a fleet of brand new armoured cash vehicles conforming to international safety standards.
  • Crew comprises of ex-military personnel experienced in secure and speedy handling of large cash volumes.
  • Available at short notice 24/7.
  • Safety and security of consignments in ensured through comprehensive risk coverage by leading insurance companies of Pakistan.
  • Charges of CIT services are competitive, flexible and tailored to the needs of clients.

AGL Training School

AGL lays emphasis on induction and refresher training programmes for security personnel. AGL has dedicated training schools covering entire Pakistan. Northern region is looked after by Rawalpindi Training School, Central region by Lahore Training School and Southern region will have its training school operation at Karachi soon. Training teams consist of highly qualified SSG officers and JCOs. On-site training is also conducted by mobile training team.
Keeping in view the training facilities, proficiency of training team, availability of firing ranges to AGL and high standards of AGL's trained guards, Ministry of Interior has designated AGL Training School as the model training school and has authorized it to organize and conduct training for other security companies.
Government of Punjab has made it mandatory for all other security companies operating with in the geographical boundaries of Punjab to get its personnel trained from AGL Training School before employing them on any security duties.
Following courses are run at AGL Training School:
  • Security Gurads Course.
  • Security Supervisor Course.
  • VIP/ Close Protection Course.
  • Lady Searcher Course.
  • CIT Course.
  • Refresher Training.
  • Firing Practice.  

AGL Office

Head Office
283 - C, Raja Akram Road
Westridge - 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Pakistan
Phones: +92515580976, +92515564278
Fax: +92515519716