Unsung heroes

Unsung heroes

Numan Bacha

Pakistan is one the hardest hit countries by the terrorism. The former plagued the latter over the last one and half decade. In war against terrorism and bringing peace to this soil, hundreds and thousands of precious lives have been lost. Like other armed forces, the police too have had key contribution in war on terror. Be it the protection of lives and property of general public, action against terrorists and other social evils or serving people suffered from natural disasters, police are playing their pivotal role in it all. According to a report published last year, thus far, around 1,726 police personnel of various ranks, ranging from IGP to constable, have been martyred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone. One can imagine the statistics of other provinces. Let this aside and view the police in the present circumstances.

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached to its top and people were repeatedly being told to stay home; it was the police who diced to death and stood firm to protect citizens from getting infected. Recently the  Directorate of Public Relations, the media wing of the KP Police, released fresh data according to which around 232 personnel have got infected, 92 have defeated the virus while 11 personnel have succumbed to it up till now. Statistics in other provinces might be manifold. Despite being a front line force, services of police in Pakistan are little acknowledged. Ironically, very few people may be cognizant as what the 4th of August is celebrated for.

Annually, this day is mourned across the country in the remembrance of those audacious  policemen who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Usually, when such a day, other than this, is impending: print, electronic and social media get active in order to cover it. But to this special day, the media does not pay heed as is needed. In other words, police martyrs are treated much like a traditional woman does her foster kids. A police personnel, despite being laid down his life in the line of duty, is pronounced as Janbahaq (killed). Clearly this shows discrimination toward this force and its fallen heroes who for the sake of this land  leaves their wives widowed and kids orphaned. The police is stereotyped as corrupt, bad tempered, non-professional and trash of words are thrown at them, but how many do laud their sacrifices for this land? Indeed little to none. Comparison of the Pakistani Police with those of the West has all time been a common practice of this nation. But don’t anyone know, what the people of United States celebrate 15th May for? In 1962  then President of the United States, Mr. John F. Kennedy, proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. The day in question was established by a joint resolution of Con-gress which is aimed to p-aying special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their l-ives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. The observation of the day includes different ceremonies that honour all peace officers and reminds people about their role in maintaining peace in country.

Besides this, January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. On this day, citizens send a note of thanks to their local, county or state police agency, turn their social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show their support. They also show their support hashtag using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay on social media. Likewise, the Singapore Police Force celebrates its police day on June 3. It annually hosts a Police Day parade at the Home Team Academy presided by the Minister of Home Affairs or the president of the country. Various police units including the National Police Cadet Corps participate in PDP. In Egypt 25 January is commemorated in honour of police. The Day of the Serbian Police and Interior is celebrated on 12 June.

Contrary to this, in our country, rarely has it seen if parents of a police martyr have been invited by the media channels and let them set in studios in order to share grief with them and let the public at large show the untold sacrifices of their loved ones as well. Now fourth August is round the corner, a special day which is annually mourned to attribute to the fallen heroes of police in Pakistan. Those brave & courageous parents, whose offspring have sacrificed their lives for their mother land, must be applauded. Public figures and elected representative should also play their positive role in this regard. For effective policing, bridging gaps between the police and masses is need of hour. Not only will it keep the morale of police high but the heirs of police martyrs will get encouraged as well.

The writer serves in KP Police and can be reached at numanbacha20@gmail.com

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