QUETTA: For his colleagues, he was ‘Commander’; and for his juniors, he was ‘Ustaad’. Abdul Razzaq, the commander of Quetta’s bomb disposal squad (BDS), defused around 500 explosive devices during his 23 years of service, saving countless lives, but lost his own in the line of duty on Monday.
Razzaq was killed, along with another policeman, while defusing a home-made bomb at Sariab Road’s busy Karachi Terminal, hours after another blast killed at least 13 people in Lahore.
Just three days before his death, Razzaq had defused a 20 kilos bomb planted near Advocate Ameer Hamza’s house on Sabzal Road.
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Third among his seven siblings, Razzaq had refused to marry owing to the perils involved in his job. The BDS officer was nonetheless fond of his sister’s children and did his best to provide for his nieces and nephews.
While his mother remembers him as an obedient son and a hardworking officer, his colleagues recall him being vocal against the provincial government and the administration.
He always complained that though the government and other high-ups had repeatedly announced incentives for him and other officers none were delivered upon.
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During his service, spanning over two decades, Razzaq was only once promoted from constable to head constable. Colleagues share that though he had been promoted to the rank of assistant sub inspector, this promotion had been taken back without explanation.
Razzaq was also a trainer at the Special Branch of Police for juniors and taught them how to defuse bombs.
His colleagues say he had keen interest in his professional duty and would even guide his colleagues on phone when he could not reach the site himself.
For his valour and bravery, he was awarded Pakistan Police Medal in 2007 and Quaid-i-Azam Medal in 2010. One of his neighbours, Advocate Zahid Malik told The Express Tribune that the BDS was a highly sensitive field but Razzaq was not provided modern equipment, adding that he even did not have uniform.
Abdul Majeed, who also embraced martyrdom with Commander Razzaq had joined Police in 1995 and was a native of Dera Ghazi Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2017.
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