PESHAWAR -- In observance of Police Martyrs Day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police, members of the public and officials on Sunday (August 4) paid tribute to police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Peshawar Zahoor Babar Afridi, accompanied by other officers, arrived early in the morning at the grave of Safwat Ghayyur to recognise his sacrifice for peace in the country.
Ghayyur, one of Pakistan's most decorated policemen, was killed in a suicide bombing just outside his office in Peshawar on August 4, 2010.
Starting in 2015, the anniversary of his death has been observed as Police Martyrs Day.
"We arranged a series of programmes from July 24 in connection with Police Martyrs Day that ended on August 4 with the major event in Peshawar," said Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Qazi Jamil ur Rehman, who helped organise the events.
During the main event in Peshawar, top political leaders, police officers and others honoured the fallen heroes and their families.
"We held blood donation camps, walks and seminars on Police Martyrs Day to pay homage to the fallen officers and soldiers of the province and the rest of the country," said Rehman.
Police officers in every district of KP also arranged walks, recitations of the Koran and salutes at the graves of the martyrs.
"As many as 285 policemen were killed from 1970 to 1999, while 1,434 have embraced martyrdom" since 2000, said Kokab Farooq, spokesperson for the KP Police.
The worst year was 2009, when 207 police officers were killed, he added.
The KP Police continues to support the families of martyred police officers, said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Naeem Khan.
"We are all proud of those who sacrificed their lives," he said.
"All the DPOs [district police officers] have been directed to take maximum care of the families of our heroes," said Khan.
The families of martyred officers receive a compensation package that increases depending on their rank. The family of a constable who dies in the line of duty receives about Rs. 10 million ($62,000), according to DIG Rehman.
"Besides, a special cell has been established in every district that ensures the provision of free education, health care and other facilities to the families," said Rehman.
A child or brother of the deceased is often recruited as an assistant sub inspector, and the bereaved family receives the fallen officer's salary until his or her 60th birthday, he added.
"Police, along with other forces, made unprecedented sacrifices to restore peace and save the lives and property of the public in the past few years," KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said in an official statement on August 4.
"We will never the let the families of the martyrs be alone and will take maximum care of them," said Khan.
"KP remained the frontline province in the war on terror, while the KP Police remained the frontline force," KP Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai told media on August 2.
Aside from the police and army, the Levies Force and khasadars in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas rendered great sacrifices in the war on terror, he added.
The sacrifices of police and other forces have allowed peace to return to the country, said Awami National Party Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain.
After tough times, "it is because of the sacrifices of police and other forces that things are much better today," said Hussain.