PESHAWAR -- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police throughout the province observed Martyrs' Day on August 4 -- for the second year -- to remember their fallen colleagues.
Since 1970, in various clashes with terrorists, 1,587 police officers have been killed. From 2006 on, 1,204 of them died, as terrorism worsened -- before the Pakistani army launched an offensive in June 2014 in North Waziristan, which had a nationwide impact in squelching terrorism.
Forty-two officers have died fighting terrorism this year, as of July 20.
Province-wide, recitations of the Holy Koran in mosques and police lines took place to remember the fallen. Hundreds of officers donated blood to save lives. Officers and patrolmen (jawans) visited fallen police officers' graves to offer fateha for departed souls.
Additional Inspector General (AIG) of Police Mian Mohammad Asif and Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Mubarak Zeb went to the Peshawar grave of slain Frontier Constabulary (FC) commandant and KP Police AIG Safwat Ghayyur to salute him.
He was killed in a Peshawar suicide bombing August 4, 2010, and remains the KP Police's highest-ranking casualty in the war on terrorism. The KP Police hold Martyrs' Day on the anniversary of his death.
Senior officers fanned out throughout KP to present a salute at other fallen officers' graves.
Peshawar police observed the day with the commitment to make more sacrifices if needed.
"The KP Police have set up a department to ensure the welfare of the families of martyrs and of the wounded," Zeb told Pakistan Forward.
Recognition by all
"The KP Police are the bravest force in the country," KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said at a Martyrs' Day ceremony in Peshawar. "We salute all who sacrificed their lives for the nation's peace."
The KP Police became the nation's best because the KP government followed a strict policy of non-interference in its management, Khattak said.
"They have suffered more than any other [Pakistani] police force from terrorism," he said. "But their morale is always high."
"The nation should never forget the supreme sacrifices that policemen have rendered for the peace in the country," KP Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani told Pakistan Forward.
"We are proud of the KP Police," Bilal Ahmad Faizi of Peshawar, a spokesman for the Rescue 1122 ambulance service, told Pakistan Forward. "They have rendered the supreme sacrifice more than any other civilian force."
Rescue 1122 has been rushing to the scene of terrorist attacks throughout KP for years.
"Martyrs' Day is a great gesture by the KP Police ... to those who died with their boots on," he said.
Arrangements for Martyrs' Day had been in the offing for weeks. Durrani July 17 ordered regional and district police officers to make arrangements for Martyrs Day. They formed committees to organise blood donation events and the display of banners and posters.