PESHAWAR: As many as 1505 policemen were martyred in suicide attacks, blasts, target killings, ambushes and encounters while performing duty in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the last 21 years.
On the other hand, 285 policemen had lost lives in different incidents in KP from 1970 till 1999. Some reports said the number was 246. The figure, however, suddenly increased manifold from 2000 to 2021.
“As many as 1,505 policemen were martyred in suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target killings, encounters and ambushes from 2000 to date,” Assistant Inspector General (AIG) (Coordination ) Arif Shahbaz Wazir told The News.
Those who were martyred during the last almost 12 years included two additional inspectors general of police (Ad IGs), two deputy inspectors general of police (DIGs), six superintendents of police (SPs), one SSP and 17 acting SPs or DSPs.
Besides, the martyrs included 32 inspectors or acting DSPs, 125 sub-inspectors, 85 ASIs and 152 head constables. The highest number of martyrs, 1084, is of constables, the junior-most rank of the force that participate in every raid, search operation, operation, on roads and at checking points.
Constables are the most vulnerable as they perform duty everywhere and this is why they sacrificed the most in any operation or attack. A number of women were also among the martyrs.
“The KP Police has sacrificed more than any other civilian force in the last many years. The force has a huge contribution in the restoration of peace in the country which will be remembered forever,” said Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari.
He said the force acknowledges the sacrifices of the martyrs and the ghazis on every occasion. “All the DPOs and others concerned have been directed to give respect to the families of the martyrs and help in case of any need. Besides, they are directed to facilitate the injured cops so they can perform their duties with ease. This is how we remember our heroes,” said IGP Ansari.
For the KP Police, the years from 2007 till 2014 were the worst when hundreds of senior and junior cops were attacked in the province, particularly Peshawar.The worst year was 2009 when 209 policemen, including one SP, 3 DSPs and 4 inspectors were martyred in different terrorist attacks in the province.According to KP police record, 27 cops were martyred in different attacks in the province in 2006, 107 in 2007, 172 in 2008, 209 in 2009, 107 in 2010 and 154 in 2011, 106 in 2012, 134 in 2013 and 111 policemen were martyred in 2014. The situation started improving after 2014, reducing the casualties of the police force.
Safwat Ghayur was the senior-most officers of the KP Police who sacrificed his life in a suicide attack on his car on August 4, 2010. The KP police pay tribute to the martyrs of the force on August 4, the death anniversary of Safwat Ghayur that is observed as Martyrs Day.
The Peshawar Police Lines were named after Malik Mohammad Saad, a former CCPO Peshawar who was martyred along with many other policemen and civilians in a suicide attack in January 2007.
The first senior officer martyred in KP was the then DIG Bannu Region Abid Ali who along with the 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.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 died in a suicide bombing in February 2010.Another DPO, Khurshid Khan of Lower Dir, along with ex-district, nazim Alamzeb lost life during an encounter with terrorism in March 2009.
Peshawar lost three SPs, Kalam Khan, Khursheed Khan and Hilal Haider, during the year 2012. 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 of Qilla Abdullah was martyred in a blast in Chaman a few years back,was also from KP.