Dacoit Attempts on Motorways of Pakistan – Are You Aware?

A lot of time we hear people escaping from death defying situations by hair’s breadth and just ignore them. But the sad reality is that most of us have never been in that situation to comprehend its reactions. I was also one of them but it wasn’t until a friend of mine went through this sort of situation, that I understood the irony of its happening to me.

A few days ago, a friend of mine was traveling from Lahore to Islamabad in his car at about 10:30 P.M. As he crossed the Sial service station and was around 40 Kilometres away from Bhera, he heard a loud explosion in his car and his passenger seat’ window burst open. The broken glass pieces propelled into his shirt, face and arms due the air-pressure. There was no light and no car around for miles. At this point he ducked, believing that it was gunshot aimed at his car and tried to get his swerving car under controlled.

Motorway Decoit 1

The story continues, when he noticed two pairs headlights in his rear-view mirror. He decided to push the throttle and evacuate that area without stopping to see the damage. After a few miles, he saw a Motorway Police car and decided to take a stop and compose himself. Surprisingly, the Police’s reaction was very lacklustre. They advised him:

Sir this might have happened to you after Sial Station. You did the right thing by not stopping immediately. Bhera is 30 Kilometres away, so you need to keep driving. This usually happens in this area, so once you enter the territory of Bhera, everything will be fine.

Now excuse me for my language, but protecting the civilians and upholding the law is the duty of law enforcement agencies. So this sort of reply from Police officials is not very appealing to say the least. The biggest concern my friend had was the lack of any reaction (surprise) from the Motorway Police. Because after reaching Bhera, he noticed a rock lying on his back seat.

Motorway Decoit 2

So I believe, the following three points will perfectly encapsulate the concern of any person involved in this type of situation:

  • What if there was a passenger sitting in the rear seat and the rock had hit him/her on the head
  • What if the rock had hit windscreen and the shattered glass could have come straight in the face of the driver and could possibly kill him on the spot?
  • What if the car had gone out of control and there were more cars around at that time?

But the biggest concern of any motorist is the lack of any action from the Motorway Police. Because it isn’t the first time this sort of Dacoit attempt has been made on the Motorway and it certainly won’t be the last. Please I urge everybody to be careful while driving at night time and I hope to see any positive reaction from the Motorway Police on this sort of incidences.

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  • Obaid Ullah

    It means you should carry weapons in your car when driving on the motorway. Then stopping by in case of broken glass won’t be a problem.

  • Cashiph

    This is the tactic of dacoits to stop the car with the stone and then do the work of looting and killing. So never stop even you have a weapon on motorway.

  • Umar Arif

    same happened with me 2 years ago on M1

  • Faizan Jafri

    Motorway police behavior is extremely disappointing, I was travelling to Islamabad from Lahore last week when my car broke after crossing chakri (a few km back from Isb toll plaza) I hardly made it possible to cross the Chakri area as it’s not considered a good or safe sight as well. After 30min wait of calling 130 for help a motorway police car came & stopped near me & after asking the issue instead of helping me they started taunting by saying that Cultus isn’t a good car for motorway, I said sir I ve seen here alot of FX & Khyber running on motorway. Anyhow they went without any positive attitude & I brought my car outside from Islamabad new toll plaza by carriage service.

  • Guest

    Dacoiti as a profession/career doesn’t happen without long-term preparation.

    There is thousands of years of history of highway robberies here.

    Last time we knew, Muhammad bin Qasim also came around to this area because the rulers supported dacoits as their personal employees who (dacoits) had provided them (the ruler) some women who (the women) were victims of kidnapping during armed & organized pirate attack.

    Conquering happened, rulers were defeated, a new religion came, 1000 years of rule happened, partition happened, atomic power happened. But the thousands years old legacy of highway robbery continues. Highways are still unsafe.

  • TJ

    Motorway Police undeservedly receives praise for their non-existent efficiency. As a matter of fact, their performance leaves a lot to be desired. They haven’t succeeded in making the motorways any safer for travel, despite the best equipment and fat salaries at the taxpayer’s expense.
    A full fledged IG assisted by dozens of DIGs and a force running into thousands has miserably failed in making our roads safer. This incident is not an isolated one; there are many other that go unreported. Their attitude is absolutely horrible. If every traveller has to manage for his own safety, then why have this white elephant?
    Unfortunately such reports do not find their way into the mainstream media. If the media starts covering these incidents and if there is a hue and cry, then may be Motorway Police will wake up from their slumber. As things stand, they are just a bunch of policemen in their fancy uniforms loitering around in their air conditioned cars.

  • Younas Khan

    Younas Khan.
    Actually Govt servants are not for the safety of the nation or to guide nation or to solve the problem of the nation, they are only to govern, and have good facilities from your taxes, if you see every department is behaving like this. if we go through the system every guide line is there, but they have kidnapped the system.

  • Shahbaz

    Yeah I agree with the general sentiment prevailing here. The motorway police while being generally better behaviour-wise, is not very competent! The behaviour/response mentioned above borders on the criminal.

    While personally I’ve had positive interactions; twice when fined, once when stopped wrongly and they accepted my argument and let me go and once when i had a breakdown, they helped by towing my car to the nearest service area! But these incidents occurred till around a couple years ago.

    These positives notwithstanding; First, compare their performance on motorways vs natl’ highways. They are miserable on highways and are weak in enforcement and even their presence is less visible. Motorways, which are access-controlled are easy to manage and doesn’t require much competency. Similarly seen in urban areas of highways (under their jurisdiction) they are even more pathetic. They simply don’t give a damn about traffic management! Also they don’t bother much about properly diverting (by setting up cones, merging lanes etc.) on the highways in case of accidents/repairs/construction while you see elaborate arrangements on the motorways. Again bcz it’s easy to do so and get more attention.

    But if even there such incidents are occurring, it clearly reflect on their abilities. Also I’ve recently seen a clear decline in their behaviour and attitude as well. They used to be polite but firm and elegant as well. Now you seldom see an elegant looking officer. And politeness is also less keenly observed. But I think the onus lies with the police leadership.

    Also I’m amazed at the kind of vehicles being used by them on the motorways! Being access-controlled, there is absolutely no justification for providing big sedans and 4wd vehicles, at least on the motorways. For God sakes, we are a poor nation. There’s some justification in certain areas esp the highways but then those should be seen being put to use, not just for useless patrolling and achieving nothing.

    I would nonetheless suggest that the author or the affectee report the incident to the IG and the ministry of communication (the controlling ministry) via email, at least. It’s our responsibility to bring it on the record. I’ve been personally replied to from the IG’s email when I sent a complaint/suggestion and it was a critical email, so I think it’s worth doing so. I would urge to include all details, including pointing out the patrol car and the officers involved if the affectee can recall any of such information. We should do our part.


  • Richard Bradshaw

    What I find annoying is how the police officers know about this very well, but haven’t done a single thing to actually fix the problem.