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July 29, 2020

KP to observe Police Martyrs week with Covid-19 protocols

Peshawar

July 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is to observe the Police Martyrs Week differently this year due to Covid-19 protocols to pay tribute to around 1,800 fallen heroes of the force.

The Martyrs Day of the police across Pakistan is observed on August 4 every year to pay homage to the fallen heroes of the force. The day is the death anniversary of Safwat Ghayur, a senior officer who was targeted by a suicide bomber in Peshawar Saddar on August 4, 2010. An official said that last year the preparations for the Martyrs week started with a meeting on July 13, constituting committees and directing all the regional and district police officers to arrange events to pay tribute to the fallen heroes. Blood donation camps, banners, rallies, seminars had begun weeks before August 4. This year the force is already late. An official said that a meeting was scheduled on Wednesday (today) when only six days are left for the Martyrs Day. “It takes many days to arrange the events,” he added. Some regional and district heads have begun preparations on their own. “This year the week and Martyrs Day might be observed differently due to Covid-19 protocols,” said an official. The Awami National Party has also announced observing the Police Martyrs Day to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the restoration of peace in the country.

“The Awami National Party will hold events across the province to pay tribute to hundreds of policemen who offered supreme sacrifice of their lives for the restoration of peace in the country,” Zafarullah Khan, a former inspector general of police and senior leader of ANP told The News. He added that ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan had directed the workers to offer Fateha and Quran Khawani at the graves of martyrs in their areas and pay tribute to them. “The ANP has also lost over 1,000 leaders and workers to acts of terror in the country,” said Zafar Khan. As many as 285 policemen lost their lives in different incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 1970 till 1999 but the number increased manifold from 2000 to 2019 when 1430 police officers and cops were martyred in suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target killings and ambushes. The years from 2007 till 2014 proved to be the worst when hundreds of senior and junior cops were attacked in the province, particularly Peshawar. The worst year for police in KP was 2009 when 207 policemen, including one SP, 3 DSPs and 4 inspectors were martyred in different terrorist attacks. According to KP police record, 28 cops were martyred in different attacks in the province in 2006, 107 in 2007, 176 in 2008, 207 in 2009, 101 in 2010 and 148 in 2011.

Those who were martyred during the last almost 13 years included two additional inspectors general of police, two deputy inspectors general of police, six superintendents of police and 20 acting SPs or DSPs and a large number of junior officers. The attack on police and other forces have recorded a decrease over the last almost six years. The first senior officer martyred in KP was the then DIG Bannu Region Abid Ali who along with driver was shot dead on Kohat Road in December 2006. In Jan 2007, the then CCPO Peshawar Malik Saad was targeted by a suicide bomber when he along with other senior officials was inspecting security of the route of a Muharram procession in Dhakki Dalgaraan, near Qissa Khwani. DSP Khan Raziq and others were also martyred in the attack. This was just the beginning of an unending series of attacks on security personnel and civilians all over Pakistan. Safwat Ghayur, an Additional IGP who was commanding Frontier Constabulary, was targeted by a suicide bomber soon after he left his office in the FC headquarters in Peshawar Saddar on August 4, 2010. Another Ad IG Mohammad Ashraf Noor was targeted by a suicide bomber in Hayatabad when he was on his way to office in November 2017. Among the SPs, Iqbal Marwat was the youngest who was martyred in a suicide bombing in February 2010. Another DPO, Khurshid Khan of Lower Dir, along with ex-district nazim Alamzeb lost his life during an encounter with terrorists in March 2009. Peshawar lost three SPs, Kalam Khan, Khursheed Khan and Hilal Haider, during the year 2012. Kalam Khan and Hilal Haider were targeted separately by suicide bombers while Khursheed Khan was martyred during an encounter with militants in Matani. A senior police officer from KP, Hilal Khan, along with two senior army officers lost lives in an ambush in Chilas town of Gilgit-Baltistan in 2013 while ASP Salman Ayaz embraced martyrdom in Rawalpindi in 2007.

Sajid Khan Mohmand posted as DPO Qilla Abdullah was martyred in a blast in Chaman few years back was also from KP. Belonging to the Mohmand tribe and born in Shabqadar town of the Charsadda district, Sajid Mohmand joined the police force as deputy superintendent of police in 1988.