03 Jul 2020


THIS refers to the terrorist attack by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi. All praise goes to security forces personnel who very bravely not only stopped the assault at the gates but also eliminated the threat altogether.

The way this assault was handled was as professional as any other better-equipped countries’ forces response. The Sindh police’s rapid response force’s response was indeed rapid. Kudos to those who lost their lives fighting back. May they rest in peace!

In the wake of the recent events taken place in the US and widespread condemnation of police actions, there are absolutely no two views on how tragic those events are for the families affected by brutal actions by some policemen.

Policing in one country is not different from policing in another country. Their main goal is to ‘maintain social order’ and ‘to serve and protect’.

However, one should also be mindful of the fact that a police officer is always walking a tight rope when carrying out his/her duties. A little off balance here and there and a disaster could happen and a tragedy could unfold in a flash of a second.

An emergency phone call can land an officer in the middle of a domestic dispute, a situation where someone in a shopping mall is behaving abnormally, an issue with noise or disturbance in an area or a neighborhood, an ordinary traffic error like a fender bender, or in a situation where it is a matter of life and death.

Police officers are trained to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of others when doing their jobs, just like on a flight when oxygen levels go down on an aircraft cabin for any reason, you are encouraged to use the oxygen mask first yourself and then help your loved ones or others on board.

It is tough to be in police uniform while doing your job, as different people see police differently; some see them as people who ‘serve and protect’ and ready to help and some who perhaps end up on the ‘other’ side of the law.

One hopes the events in North America and the lessons learned which led to the untimely death of George Floyd in otherwise a simple process of arresting him, and most recently of Rayshard Brooks of Atlanta, will go a long way towards better policing worldwide.

Similarly, the police and security forces action at PSX should be seen as an example of high spirits and should be used in future training of cadets.

Anas A. Khan
Edmonton, Canada

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020