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Today's Paper | April 15, 2024

Updated 28 Feb, 2024 05:40pm

‘Selfless devotion to duty’: COAS lauds Lahore cop for saving woman in Arabic print shirt from mob

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir on Wednesday lauded Lahore Gulberg Circle Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi for her “selfless devotion to duty and professionalism in diffusing a volatile situation”.

On Sunday afternoon, a mob had gathered outside a shop in Lahore’s crowded Ichra Bazaar after someone alleged that a woman’s shirt had Quranic verses printed on it, insisting on a “blasphemy” charge.

A video clip on social media showed the girl hiding in a shop and shivering with fear. Sensing the sensitivity of the issue, some police officials present at the site called in their higher-ups.

Subsequently, a police team led by ASP Shehrbano engaged the crowd, took the woman into protective custody and shifted her to the police station amid heightened security measures. Later in the day, a video had emerged showing the woman apologising alongside religious scholars.

On Monday, the Punjab police chief had recommended ASP Naqvi for the Quaid-i-Azam Police Medal (QPM).

In a statement released today, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that ASP Shehrbano had called on the COAS at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

“The COAS lauded ASP Shehrbano for her selfless devotion to duty and professionalism in diffusing a volatile situation. The fearless officer extricated a woman from the difficult milieu of Ichra Bazaar in Lahore on February 26,” the ISPR said.

The army chief acknowledged the vital role Pakistani women were playing in all walks of life. “Since independence, Pakistani women have distinguished themselves at home and abroad, by their talent, tenacity and commitment,” the statement quoted him as saying.

COAS highlighted that women were an invaluable part of society and their respect was “enshrined in our religion as well as our social ethos”. The army chief also underscored the importance of social harmony and the need for nationwide consensus on curbing intolerance.

He emphasised the rule of law and advised against taking the law into one’s hands when legal avenues were available for addressing concerns and grievances.

Noting that “arbitrary actions based on heresy undermine the outlook of the society”, COAS Munir underlined Islam’s eternal message of kindness and benevolence.

He also appreciated the sacrifices rendered by law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of Pakistan.

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