I’m writing this article in the memory of my khalu [uncle], DSP Qasim Ali Khan Ghouri, who was martyred at 8:30am on August 15. This is not meant to be a eulogy because no words are sufficient to express my affection and regard for Khalu.
I’d just like to share some very special experiences and lessons from his life.
Lessons from a martyr
Khalu often used to express his deepest sympathies for the frequent martyrdoms of policemen but I never thought that he’d be the one to sacrifice his life. I believed that he loved his family the most but evidently his responsibilities toward the nation came first.
On August 15, Khalu rushed to Safari Park to rescue the body of ASI Asif, who had been shot by some gangsters. When Khalu arrived at the crime scene, the rest of the policemen were waiting for an armoured personnel carrier to recover the body but he couldn’t let the gangsters take over his police jawaan’s body. So Khalu snatched his guard’s rifle and charged ahead.
Unfortunately, these days the gangsters had more advanced artillery than our under-resourced police. The gangsters opened heavy fire on Khalu and hit him at least nine times but he kept firing back. Long after Khalu was shot, there was no sign of emergency medical help or an APC so he could be taken to a facility nearby. Khalu died shortly after he reached a hospital.
This was definitely not the first time that our ill-equipped policemen have tried to deal with a heavily armed mafia. It has become the order of day that a couple of policemen die and the whole nation fails to appreciate the sacrifices of our protectors. I’m very proud of my Khalu’s brave attempt, and whole-heartedly acknowledge the heart-felt condolences of his well-wishers. I also deeply thank the police department for the esteem they accorded to him.
Lessons from a policeman
Khalu and I had frequently discussed that though the police department has its fair share of flaws, they can be corrected. The departmental flaws do not, however, take away from the sacrifices of our jawaans. Khalu thought that we should take seriously the advices of policemen to improve the department because a lot of policemen genuinely want to help the people the most. He explained that since the police are under-resourced, the policemen have insufficient funds for even operational expenditures, such as petrol and office supplies. Hence, the police need extra funding to even maintain their current infrastructure, let alone upgrade it.
Khalu further explained that corruption may also get viral when the higher ups want additional resources and the subordinates have to collect funds to pass on. Therefore, it is imperative that we support our direly needed police department as it always steps up to fight with criminals and terrorist groups, regardless of what its resources are.
Lessons from a caretaker
Khalu epitomised a fearless, responsible and caring person. He not only carried out his responsibilities as a policeman but also took extremely good care of his family. For me, he was not only much more than a father but also a friend, teacher, brother, driver, event planner and a lot more. He single-handedly solved everyone’s problems, and remained calm and light-hearted in harsh times. He taught us to take on others’ problems and solve them with the best of our capabilities.
May Allah grant my shaheed [martyred] baba a really good spot in Jannatul Firdous. Ameen.
The writer is pursuing her Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematics and Physics at Mount Holyoke College in the United States.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2013.