PESHAWAR -- Several youth representatives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) held an interactive session with senior police officers in the province, learning about the force's efforts and pledging to fight extremism, crime and drugs.
The representatives, who included both male and female students from different educational institutions in Peshawar, KP's provincial capital, made the pledge during the first-ever "Police Youth Interaction" event. It took place at the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines November 10.
Several groups of students, led by their teachers from different colleges, schools and universities, attended the five-hour event, which included an exhibition.
The students learned about different units of the police force, including the bomb disposal unit, the city patrol police, the quick response unit and the information technology unit of the force, as well as about different kinds of light and heavy weapons and armoured personnel carriers.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Qazi Jamil ur Rehman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Javed Iqbal and SSP Investigations Nisar Ahmad Khan met with the students among other other officers in small groups to inform them about police measures over the last few years against criminals, drug dealers and terrorists.
"The youth can play an important role in going after crime, terrorism, drugs and other evils in society... they were engaged in a way not only to learn about our efforts but also to learn how to play their role," Rehman told Pakistan Forward.
The response of the youth was overwhelming, he said.
"They not only assured their complete support against extremism, crime and drugs but offered their services to the police in information technology and other fields," he added.
Ensuring peace in society
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness among youth as to how they can help ensure peace in society, according to Rehman.
"The students from different schools and colleges were briefed about the steps taken for public-friendly policing, resolving disagreements through dispute resolution councils and facilitating [citizens] through police assistance lines and police access services," he said.
"The students were told that the environment within the force has improved greatly because of recent reforms, while performance has gone up after police officers obtained better training and the latest technology and weapons," he noted.
The event was also aimed at improving "co-ordination between youth and the force as it will discourage the criminal elements from engaging in illegal activities," SSP Operations Iqbal told Pakistan Forward.
The youth learned about police efforts to go after drug dealers who have targeted educational institutions and youth, he said.
"The students were happy with the efforts of police against the drug dealers in the vicinity of universities, colleges and hostels," added Iqbal.
"It was a genuinely thought-provoking event that made us understand how... the KP Police have changed their ways of addressing crime by using modern technologies and improving the understanding between the masses and the police," Kiran Shah, a student at the Jinnah College for Women who attended the event, told Pakistan Forward.
"The event was very informative, and I enjoyed it a lot," Khizer Hayat, a student at Iqra University, told Pakistan Forward.
"It was very good to have insight into our city's police," Haleema Khan, another student from Peshawar, told Pakistan Forward. "The event has spread a feeling of satisfaction that our community is in safe hands, and we will look forward to more interactive sessions."
"It was a great initiative to engage the youth in lowering the crime rate in the city," Nargis Ikram, a teacher at the Jinnah College for Women, told Pakistan Forward.
The use of advanced information technology by the police during the exhibition was impressive, she said, adding that she hopes more such events will take place not only in Peshawar but also in other cities.