The sensible way to improve law and order, and the security situation across Pakistan is to allow the people to protect themselves. The security forces as a percentage of population are never going to be able to stop a diverse and widely dispersed threat of terrorism. The terrorists are composed of small groups that strike unexpectedly. To stop that random event from occurring, massive security is needed, at multiple locations, and in multiple directions. It’s all to prevent one suicide bomber from slipping through. The practicality of this arrangement is suspect and has already failed, especially in remote areas. A better alternative is to use what has been tried successfully in the Swat, and some South American countries: a union of public and private security.
The government and it’s security forces are spreading thin to provide security over a vast area. The practical method is to have more involvement from the locals, something the military has already done successfully in the Swat valley after flushing out the Taliban. The advantage of having locals involved is that the personnel are more familiar with their area and the people who frequent that area. They are more likely to identify an outsider and raise an alarm. This is not a perfect or fool proof security system. No system is. What it does is that it allows security forces to have local eyes on the lookout for developing threats.
Not only is the likelihood of threats reduced due to this arrangement, but also the costs to the terrorists for using violence is raised. Now they have to devote extra resources to bypass the extra security in each community and neighborhood. Another advantage is the reduction in hopelessness that is currently pervading the society. Having control over their own security in collaboration with the government agencies is in itself a trust and confidence builder.
Considering the paucity of the resources and the threats we face, joining hands and working together is the way forward. This means a union of the public and private security. The alternative is a rapid increase in police and armed forces, which historically ends up reducing the freedoms of the very people these forces are supposed to protect, not to mention the exorbitant costs of maintaining a large governmental security apparatus. This is all to be on a voluntary basis of course, and those communities that are not open to the idea don’t have an obligation to join. The communities that are under serious threat of violence from these terrorist might just welcome this initiative.