Suicide is a deliberate act to end one’s life or to kill oneself. Every 40 second someone dies by suicide somewhere around the globe. Every year, a million people commit suicide. According to the WHO report, 2013, an estimated 804, 000 people died due to suicide around the world in 2012, demonstrating an annual average global age-standardized suicide rate of 11.4 per 100,000 population showing a gender ratio of male 15.0 and women 8.0. In the economically advanced countries, men’s suicide rates are three times higher than women whereas in economically poor countries the suicide rate is lower; a male to female ratio of 1.5 male to each woman.Suicide rates are the highest among young people and the second leading cause of death in the age group of 15-29 years old around the world. Globally, the common methods employed for suicides include: consumption of pesticides, firearms and hanging. This epidemic has plagued Pakistani society for many decades, but despite its fatal outcome in the form of untimely and unnatural deaths, there are no official statistics available on the suicide rates nationwide, nor are the statistics reported to World Health Organization (WHO).In the Islamic religion, suicide is strictly forbidden, therefore it is considered a criminal offence and punishable by Pakistani law and liable to fines/imprisonment. According to Pakistan Penal Code 306 of the Criminal Procurement Act, any such case must be reported to police and evaluated in the medico-legal center (MLC) but due to fear of harassment, confidentiality around such sensitive cases, social stigmas and complicated legal procedures, such cases go unnoticed and underreported.Pakistan being an Islamic republic, a multi-cultural country and having a diverse geography offers different explanations to the current social problem of suicide which is often presented as a health or mental issue by different Pakistani scholars and professional researchers. However, there are few studies and reports available mostly conducted by professional psychiatrists and medical researchers, addressing this social pathology from a medical and psychiatric paradigms.A research study in 2008 based on the analysis of suicide reports of six cities of three major provinces; Punjab, Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tried to calculate the national suicide rates. These statistics and suicide rates varied city wise per year (1991-2000), in Peshawar suicide rates recorded were 0.3/100,000 while 2.86/100,000 were recorded in Rawalpindi. Rates for men are consistently higher than women, i.e. 7.06/100,000 were the highest rates recorded for men in Larkana Sindh, province.Age and gender standardized rates for the age group (20-40 years old) which account for the highest number of suicides were calculated in different cities as: 7.03/100,000 men and 3.08/100,000 women in Larkana, 1.08/100,000 men, and 0.33 women in Peshawar, 2.94/100,000 men, and 1.67/100,000 women in Lahore, 3.17/100,000 men, and 2.04/10,000 women in Karachi and 2.77/100,000 men, and 1.02/100,000 women were measured in Faisalabad.However, to control the increasing suicides rates, the government will have to play its role, to start with the decriminalization of suicide, provide increased mental health care services and well-qualified multidisciplinary experts in hospitals and launch mass awareness campaigns, a free helpline, and legal support and economic programs to people who are on the verge of committing suicideAnother study in 2000 grounded on two years’ analysis of suicide reports in a major newspaper of 35 cities revealed that 306 people committed suicide. The male to female ratio was 2:1 in which males have outnumbered women with higher suicide rates in Pakistan.The recent data provided by police revealed that in the past eight months from January to August, more than 350 people have committed suicide in the seven districts of the Malakand division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.The police data revealed that majority of the suicide victims were reportedly women, showing a gender based suicide ratio of 52 men versus 174 women.Similarly, alarming reports are coming out from Bahawalpur, Thar, Peshawar and Lahore about the increasing suicides rates which have doubled in the recent years.There have been a great number of students who have committed suicides on getting lower grades in their matriculation exams and respectively failing to get admissions into the professional colleges.A study conducted on the patterns of suicides in the District Chitral from six tehsils quantitatively evaluated 168 suicide cases occurred during 2007 to 2011. This study also hinted at the double female suicide trend 104 women (62 %) and 64 men (38%) in the hilly mountainous district.To conclude, despite the complexity of suicidal behavior and explanations and differential rates, suicides are preventable on both societal and individual level after identifying the pathological symptoms of both individuals and groups.However, to control the increasing suicides rates, the government will have to play its role, to start with the decriminalization of suicide, provide increased mental health care services and well-qualified multidisciplinary experts in hospitals and launch mass awareness campaigns, a free helpline, and legal support and economic programs to people who are on the verge of committing suicide.The write is a graduate of Quaid-i-Azam University, IslamabadPublished in Daily Times, January 15th 2019.