Low Conviction Rate in Pakistan: Causes and Way Forward


  • Abdul Latif Abdul Latif is a civil servant in the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) and graduated from Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago on a Fulbright Scholarship.


low conviction, criminal justice, law-and-order, police & prosecution, lawyers & judiciary, anti-terrorism laws


Conviction rate is the primary indicator through which the efficiency of a criminal justice system can be measured. Unfortunately, Pakistan has a poor conviction rate due to the collective inefficiencies of the Police, the Prosecutors, the Judiciary, and the Lawyers. In this paper, the author has highlighted reasons behind the low conviction rate in three main categories: Crimes against person, Crimes against property, and Crimes under Anti-terrorism Act. The major reasons outlined for low conviction rate are false statements by applicants, flaws in investigation due to limited resources, weak prosecution, and the lack of timely disposal of cases by courts due to overburdened judges. To resolve this problem, holistic changes must be made rather than mere cosmetic changes as the problem is deep rooted in the system.