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Ecology of Urban Violence

Partner: International Alert, London

Duration: May to October, 2013

Locale: Gujrat and RahimYar Khan

Team Member:  Mome Saleem, Seemi Bano, Sadaf Liaquat


Urban violence is not a recent phenomenon. It was a major development concern in the last century due to the rapidly growing urban population, high pace of urbanization and depleting natural resources. According to an estimate urban population is likely to increase around 50 percent in developing countries and 80 per cent in developed countries by the year 2030.

In Pakistan, social competition is evident from ever growing ethnic, religious and social feuds. Several ethnic, religious and social groups feel threatened by other groups hence leading to violence and crimes of acute nature. Frustration among youth on the basis of unemployment and lack of positive engagements within a community leads to engagement in criminal activities such as murder, vehicle lifting, mobile phone and jewelry snatching, cattle theft, bank robbery, kidnapping for ransom etc. The violence leaves psychological, social and economic impacts on the victims and its trickle down effect is also seen on the family and society.

The study aims to explore the dynamics of violence prevalent in urban centers of Gujrat and RahimYar Khan districts. It focuses on exploring the non-conventional linkages between violence and crime. It also focuses on repercussions and response of masses to gauge the resilience of communities.  The study aims at providing a credible data to the policy makers to not only better understand the dynamics of discrimination and crimes leading to violence in these areas but also assist them to tailor their strategies/policies according to the public needs.


  • To explore the perceptions of indigenous population, law-enforcement agencies, civil society, district government and advocates regarding the reasons of prevalent crimes.
  • To explore the impact of urban violence on the psychological, social and economic state of people
  • To know the coping mechanisms of communities
  • To explore nature of violence experienced by marginalized communities (women, youth, ethnic and religious minorities)


  • Primary data collection from Gujrat and Rahim Yar Khan
  • Longitudinal study from mainstream newspapers published from the two districts
  • Publication of a report on Ecology of Urban Violence

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:

Shehryar Khan Toru , Rabia Manzoor , Muhammad Sohaib , Maryam Waqar