Pillar 2
Safety and Security

Key Indicator : Index of terrorism incidence, Homicide cases, Global Terrorism index rate, Reliability of police services

Safety and security are critical aspects that determine the growth of a country’s tourism industry.[61] Pakistan has been grappling with terrorist activities and has been struggling with its law-and-order situation for around two decades. The T&T Development Report 2021 puts Pakistan at a rank of 96[62] with a score of 4.7 in safety and security. Compared to the previous report (2019), the mentioned score shows an improvement in the safety and security of the country, which will help develop the tourism sector and encourage international tourists to visit Pakistan, and domestic tourists to travel within the country.

Pakistan moved from 8th (2020) most impacted to 10th (2021) in the list of most impacted countries by terrorism

Since 2018, terrorist incidents and casualties have been on a gradual decline. According to Pakistan Security Report 2021, 2019 and 2020 saw a decline of 13% and 36%, respectively, in the occurrence of such incidents and the consequential casualties. Besides this, in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), Pakistan moved from 8th (2020) most impacted to 10th (2021) in the list of most impacted countries by terrorism with a score of 7.83 out of 10,[63] which also shows decrease in terrorist activities.

Only in 2021 has the country witnessed an increase of around 40% in terrorist incidents.[64]

Moreover, the homicide rate in Pakistan recorded a decrease of 3.09%, stooping to a level of 3.8 cases per 100,000 in 2019 from 3.9 cases per 100,000 population in the previous year.[65] The World Bank has made a similar assessment.[66]

At present, a four-year technical assistance framework is launched by UNODC in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, named Pakistan’s Terrorism Prevention Programme (PTP2), which is designed to strengthen the response of the country’s criminal justice to counter and stop terrorism. PTP2 will aid in Pakistan’s efforts to execute the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.[67]

Furthermore, Pakistan has been declared a family station for its employees by the UN, and the UK has acknowledged that the country is safe for travelling and tourism.[68] Following the UK, the US has softened travel restrictions for Pakistan as well. The improved security situation also allowed for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in late 2019.[69] Moreover, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, and KP have launched their very own tourist police to deal with the safety of the tourists.[70] [71] [72] Islamabad was also looking to have a special tourism police force, and was expected that the federal capital would soon have over 200 policemen deployed at various recreational facilities to facilitate tourists.[73] But there is no progress on the project of raising special tourism police, and it is being shelved by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).[74] Punjab government has also launched a universal helpline, i.e., 1421, which will help in registering complaints and guiding tourists if needed.[75] Besides this, Punjab Tourism Squad is also being launched, comprising of 11 females and 71 males, to provide a trouble-free and pleasant environment to the tourists.[76]

With a focus on the implementation of the framework, the safety and security situation in Pakistan is expected to improve rapidly in the coming years, which is going to be crucial for the development of tourism.