PESHAWAR -- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police have been drawing appreciation from all segments of society for their bravery against terrorists.
The latest group to formally recognise the sacrifices of police are the students of Sarhad University of Science and Information Technology in Peshawar, who visited several local check-points July 23 and presented roses to the police officers.
"We want to show respect to the police for their devotion to their duties due to which the people are fully secured," said Javeria Khan, a student who visited at least 20 check-points and handed flowers to police.
"Police perform duties day and night to provide security to the public," she told Pakistan Forward. "In the past few years, our police have arrested or killed several terrorists."
Serving with pride, bravery
Police Inspector Zahir Khan said that receiving flowers from the public gave him joy.
"They visited our police on University Road, Ring Road and cantonment areas and gifted flowers to acknowledge our hard work to maintain peace in the city," he told Pakistan Forward.
"Indeed, we feel proud after the goodwill gesture of the students," he said. "This will encourage us more, and our staff will leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of the people."
Showering police with roses shows the level of confidence the students have in the police, said Khadim Hussain, a security analyst in Peshawar.
"It is a manifestation of the bravery shown by our police in the fight against militants that students are offering them flowers," he told Pakistan Forward. "These gestures tend to further encourage and embolden the police officers to take on insurgents more aggressively."
Police have thwarted hundreds of attacks in recent years, saving countless lives, he said. In addition, they are guarding schools and polio vaccination teams from terrorists.
"The police have improved professionally," Hussain said. "They have been tracking down militants in the whole province. In the past few years, they have foiled hundreds of terrorism bids by miscreants, and due to that they have earned huge respect."
"The law-and-order situation has improved because our police stand alert to face perpetrators of violence," he said.
Police are undeterred
Despite an endless spate of Taliban attacks, KP police officers are undeterred, said KP Director General of Health Parvez Kamal Khan.
"More than 40 police officers have been killed by the Taliban in attacks on polio vaccination teams since 2012 in [KP] and Sindh provinces," he told Pakistan Forward.
Nonetheless, police continue to guard health teams deployed to administer the oral polio vaccine to children and to ensure they stay safe from the crippling disease, he said.
"Police have played a significant role in our fight against polio," he said. "It is due to police that we ensured the recent vaccination of 5.4m children in the province."
Ahmed Ali, a lecturer at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Peshawar, praised the students for showering police with roses.
"Taliban militants have been killing police officers, attacking their vehicles and offices, but they never hesitated to perform their duties and safeguard the people," he told Pakistan Forward.
"The role of police in ending terrorism has been extremely praiseworthy," he said. "There were times when three suicide attacks took place daily, but the police stood like a rock and forced terrorists to flee for safety."
"We highly condemn Taliban militants for killing police and express solidarity with them," he added.
Improved law and order
The KP Police have played a tremendous role against militancy, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party Chairman Imran Khan said recently.
"The Police have wiped out terrorism," he said in Peshawar July 19. "They are a role model for police of other provinces."
Khan’s party rules KP, one of the worst hit by terrorism. "We are glad that the people support their police. Not only [the fight against] terrorism but the law-and-order situation in general has seen marked improvement in the past two years,” he said.
Samiullah Khan Marwat, secretary of the Marwat Welfare Organisation, an NGO based in Lakki Marwat District, said his organisation provided assistance to displaced people from Waziristan with the help of security agencies and police.
"The situation is extremely good now due to police performance," he told Pakistan Forward. "Our police helped the displaced as well their hosts in villages."
"We hosted five families in a school in Lakki Marwat, where police provided us good security," he said. "On two occasions, the Taliban attacked the displaced people in the past two years, but police thwarted their attempts."